The Patriots will play competitive football for the first time since trimming their roster down to the required 85 limit. With the smaller squad traveling to the City of Brotherly Love, there are a few interesting storylines to keep an eye out for as kickoff begins. However, none are as compelling as Devin Asiasi.
The Patriots’ Injury Bug is Back…
The Patriots entered the preseason with a renovated TE depth chart with the signings of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. Now, just 2 hours away from kickoff, the team’s tight end situation already looks thin. Both Henry and Smith, as well as Matt LaCosse and the recently released Troy Fumagalli, will not be partaking in tonight’s festivities. The only remaining tight end for Thursday is 2nd year Devin Asiasi. The former Michigan and UCLA alum has a chance to shine and will look to continue his already impressive spring. Struggling mightily throughout his rookie season alongside Dalton Keene, Asiasi has turned heads during both OTAs and Training Camp.
Asiasi (6’3″, 257 lbs) was a beast at UCLA in 2019; many considered him to be the best prospect at the position during the draft. However, he fell to the 3rd round with teams worried about health. So far, Asiasi has amassed a whopping 2 catches for 39 yards in Patriots colors, with 1 of them coming for a score in Week 17. Even with the newly acquired stars in Henry and Smith, the 2nd year Patriots has a chance to shine under the radar, starting tonight.
With the Eagles dropping their first game of 2021 to cross-state rival Pittsburgh 24-16, they will be coming out strong with players fighting for jobs. Asiasi had a solid week with the teams having joint practices and will continue to build on that. He caught a TD on the 17th, the first day that he was the only TE practicing. He should match up well against the weaker Eagles linebacking corps and should be a key contributor in tonight’s game.
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