New England Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore to open season on reserve/PUP list, agent says

Max Kellerman and Harry Douglas outline their expectations for the Patriots' rookie QB Mac Jones in 2021. (1:29).
FOXBOROUGH (Mass.) New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore will begin the 2021 NFL season on a reserve/physically incompetent to perform list. This means that he will be out at least six weeks of the season. Gilmore's agent Jason Chayut confirmed this to ESPN on Tuesday.

Gilmore, 30 years old, is currently recovering from a torn quad sustained in Week 15 last season. Offseason surgery was required for the injury.

Gilmore had also skipped the Patriots mandatory minicamp in June because he was unhappy with his contract. His contract calls for Gilmore to receive a $7 million base salary in 2021, the last year of his contract. According to coaches, he was able to report to training camp on schedule and has participated in team meetings.

Mike Pellegrino, cornerbacks coach, said last week that while he won't speak on his injury but would say that his participation in building activities has been "phenomenal". I joked that he was 'Coach Steph. He has been great with the guys, being there, communicating and not being quiet. He's been a top-notch performer all through this.

The first six games of the season are not open to players who have been placed on the reserve/PUP lists. The player can then start practicing after a five week window. After a player has started practicing, the team has up to three weeks in which to decide whether the player will be added to the roster or put on the season-ending injured reserve.

The Patriots traded last week for Shaun Wade, a rookie cornerback, which may have indicated that the team knew it would play the first six games without Gilmore, who was the 2019 NFL Defensive Player-of-the Year.

J.C. Jackson is expected to replace Jalen Mills, a free-agent signing, at cornerback. Jackson was second in the NFL for interceptions last year. Six-year veteran Jonathan Jones is the Patriots' top slot cornerback, with Wade and 2019 second round pick Joejuan Williams likely to complete the depth chart.