The New England Patriots‘ trade-deadline acquisition of nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga is looking that much better.
According to ESPN, the Patriots placed veteran defensive tackle Tommy Kelly on season-ending injured reserve.
Kelly had previously hurt his right knee on Oct. 6 against the Cincinnati Bengals. He practiced for the first time since on Wednesday and Thursday, but did not practice Friday, and will now miss the rest of the season.
The 6-foot-6, 310 pound Kelly was literally a huge part of the Patriots’ interior defense, along with defensive tackle Vincent Wilfork. In his four games played this season, Kelly played 63-percent of the defensive snaps and had 23 tackles for 2.5 sacks.
Now, Kelly joins both Wilfork and linebacker Jerod Mayo as key defenders that will miss the rest of the season.
The Patriots will likely turn to the recently acquired Sopoaga, along with first-year DT Marcus Forston, and rookies Chris Jones and Joe Vellano.
To fill the roster spot left by Kelly, the Patriots promoted rookie guard Josh Kline from the practice squad.