New England Patriots outside linebacker Shea McClellin has been on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury since Sept. 7, but the former Boise State star could be back sooner than expected.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said on a conference call Tuesday that McClellin is eligible to return to practice this week.
“That’s a possibility,” Belichick said, according to WEEI.com. “That’s something that we’ll talk about with the medical people before we start work this week and see where we’re at. If he’s ready, then it’s an option. If he’s not ready, then it’s not an option.”
Under a relatively new rule, NFL teams can bring back up to two players from injured reserve over the course of the season.
McClellin, a graduate of Marsing High, played in 14 games for the Patriots last season, including four starts. He finished with 41 total tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery and two blocked kicks, and helped the Patriots win the Super Bowl.
Players on IR are required to sit out the first eight games of the season. New England hosts Atlanta in Week 7 (Sunday) and the L.A. Chargers in Week 8. With the Patriots on a bye in Week 9, the earliest McClellin could return to game action is Week 10 at Denver.
McClellin was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Bears in 2012. He signed a three-year, $9 million deal with the Patriots as a free agent in 2016.
Idaho alum Iupati goes on IR
Arizona Cardinals left guard Mike Iupati, who hasn’t played since Week 1, needs surgery to repair a bone spur in his elbow.
Coach Bruce Arians said Iupati’s bone spur broke off and is cutting a tendon, and he had tried to play through the injury and couldn’t, according to azcardinals.com.
Scandrick honored by high school
During the Dallas Cowboys’ bye week, cornerback Orlando Scandrick stopped by Los Alamitos High in Southern California to help celebrate its 50th homecoming.
Scandrick, who played at Los Alamitos and at Boise State, was honored at halftime after recently donating $15,000 to the school, which was used to purchase new uniforms and helmets.
“It’s an honor to be back at the place where I got my start,” Scandrick told the Orange County Register. “It’s humbling to know I’ve walked these same halls. I can so remember that feeling of butterflies and nervousness before games.”
Ajayi’s big day
The Miami Herald reported that running back Jay Ajayi played his most snaps (48) since the season opener against the Chargers, and the former Boise State standout wore down the Falcons defense, gaining 130 yards on 26 carries. Ajayi gained 96 of those yards after contact and was able to force four missed tackles.
Idaho connections in NFL
RB, Jay Ajayi, No. 23 Miami Dolphins
LB, Kamalei Correa, No. 51 Baltimore Ravens
DL, Tyrone Crawford, No. 98 Dallas Cowboys
DB, Donte Deayon, No. 38 New York Giants
S, George Iloka, No. 43 Cincinnati Bengals
DE, DeMarcus Lawrence, No. 90 Dallas Cowboys
OL, Charles Leno Jr., No. 72 Chicago Bears
RB, Doug Martin, No. 22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB, Kellen Moore, No. 17 Dallas Cowboys
G/T, Rees Odhiambo, No. 70 Seattle Seahawks
C, Matt Paradis (Council High), No. 61 Denver Broncos
CB, Orlando Scandrick, No. 32 Dallas Cowboys
DB, Jamar Taylor, No. 21 Cleveland Browns
FS, Darian Thompson, No. 27 New York Giants
LB, Tanner Vallejo, No. 40 Buffalo Bills
Injured reserve: S, Jeron Johnson, Jacksonville Jaguars; LB, Shea McClellin (Marsing High), New England Patriots; DE, Billy Winn, Denver Broncos; S, Chanceller James, San Francisco 49ers
Practice squads: C, Travis Averill, Cleveland Browns; RB, Jeremy McNichols, San Francisco 49ers
OT, Jesse Davis, No. 77 Miami Dolphins
DE, Benson Mayowa, No. 93 Dallas Cowboys
RB, Elijhaa Penny, No. 35 Arizona Cardinals
ILB, Korey Toomer, No. 56 Los Angeles Chargers
Injured reserve: G, Mike Iupati, No. 76 Arizona Cardinals
TE, Josh Hill (Blackfoot High), No. 89 New Orleans Saints
C, Evan Smith, No. 62 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB, Taysom Hill (Highland High), No. 7 New Orleans Saints