The New England Patriots cut ties with two players yesterday in offensive tackle Elvis Fisher and wide receiver Lavasier Tuniei, who was only signed two days before his release. While the release of Tuinei was more sudden than surprising, the Patriots release of Fisher was both. These two players were absent at practice on Saturday due to injuries, and Tuinei was fighting for a spot on the practice squad. Meanwhile, I had Fisher locked up as a practice squad player, because he showed an immense amount of talent as an offensive tackle with the Missouri Tigers in college, and the only reason why he went undrafted is due to injuries.
A New England Patriots helmet rests on the side line during the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
So when Fisher was released yesterday despite being somebody the Patriots clearly like (he received $15,000 in guaranteed money, which is quite a bit for a UDFA) and in lieu of an injury, I wondered if Fisher had sustained a severe injury given his injury history. Prior to Saturday’s absence, Fisher was also seen on the stationary bike on Friday, so an injury was the most likely reason for the release of the talented Mizzou product.
According to a source close to MassLive.com’s Nick Underhill, the former Tigers left tackle has indeed suffered an injury, and he was released because of another knee injury. It is not known what type of knee injury the 24-year-old OT is suffering from, but it will require surgery and the Patriots will place him on the injured reserve.
The bad news is that Fisher, who suffered a ruptured patellar tendon in college, most likely suffered a severe knee injury in combination with a past severe knee injury, but the great news is that he can join is Missouri standout teammate (why in the heck did T.J. Moe go undrafted?) on the injured reserve. Why is this great news? The New England Patriots get to keep a tackle who showed promise early in training camp and has all the tools to be a starter at the position one day. I am very high on Elvis Fisher, so it is great to see that the 6’5″, 30o pound tackle is still on the squad in some fashion. Let’s hope he can recover fully for next season, because he and Moe could be quality pieces for this team and should make the 53-man roster (though health and a roster spot will be harder to come by for Fisher).