The Patriots will be down a key reserve for the 2023 NFL season after linebacker Raekwon McMillan suffered a partial Achilles tear at organized team activities (OTAs) this week, according to The Athletic. New England has since placed the veteran on injured reserve, meaning he'll be forced to miss the entire season.
During the season, players can be designated to return from IR, but an offseason move to IR means the only way a player can suit up again is if he is released with an injury settlement and signs elsewhere.
This isn't the first time McMillan has faced a serious injury recovery during his NFL career. Originally a second-round draft pick of the Dolphins in 2017, he saw his rookie season get cut short before it even began due to an ACL tear in his first preseason game, then ended the 2019 campaign on IR with a hamstring issue. He also missed the entire 2021 season, his first with the Patriots, due to an ACL tear.
McMillan opened last season as a starting inside linebacker for New England and ultimately appeared in 16 games, logging a career-high five tackles for loss. His best marks came as a rookie in Miami, when he opened his career with 105 tackles and two forced fumbles as a full-time starter. He was set to back up Ja'Whaun Bentley and Jahlani Tavai going into the 2023 season.