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Patriots place WR Malcolm Mitchell on injured reserve

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots boasted arguably the NFL’s deepest receiving corps as recently as a few weeks ago. Now? Not so much.

It started with the loss of number one receiver and Tom Brady go-to target Julian Edelman going down with a torn ACL. And now they’ve lost possession pass catcher Malcolm Mitchell to injured reserve as well:

This is a pretty significant blow for the Pats who entered the season as overwhelming favorites to again win the Super Bowl. They still very much should be, but if these type of injuries continue to pile up for them as we’ve seen happen before, the assumption that they’ll waltz to a conference title could be reasonably challenged.

The recent trade for Colts draft bust Phillip Dorsett now makes much more sense, and the similar acquisition of former Saints’ speedster Brandin Cooks may in fact be a season saver. Regardless, the Patriots are still talented at the position, but the more players they lose there, the closer some of the other talented AFC teams may creep up on the top seed.

We’ll see how this all shakes out starting tonight with the Pats taking on the Kansas City Chiefs in their homecoming game on NBC.