As part of the Patriots' roster moves on Monday, the team placed veteran defensive back Will Allen, safety Josh Barrett and fifth-year fullback Spencer Larsen on injured reserve.
Let's look closer at what that means (similar to earlier Ross Ventrone post).
First, all three players had injuries that affected their availability for the near future. Allen, who came off the field after warmups in Wednesday and Thursday practices in Tampa, didn't play Friday night against the Buccaneers. Barrett also didn't play on Friday. Meanwhile, Larsen limped off early in the second quarter, a frustrating development for him after missing most of training camp.
Usually when a player is placed on injured reserve, that means they are lost for the season.
But in this case, the option is there for the team to work out injury settlements with all three players at any time. If the injury settlement is worked out within five days of them being placed on injured reserve, the option opens for that player to potentially return to the team later in the season.
A negotiated injury settlement would be for a specific number of games. The team could then approach the players about returning six games after the number of games settled upon.
For example, if the Patriots and Larsen negotiated a four-game injury settlement, Larsen could potentially return after the team's 10th game.
All three players could have some value to the Patriots down the line -- Allen for depth at safety if Steve Gregory runs into any unexpected injuries, Barrett on special teams, and Larsen as a lead-blocking fullback/special teamer.