Demaryius Thomas Injury Timeline: Could WR Return Sooner Than Expected

The New England Patriots are in the process of shuffling their receiving corps ahead of the 2019 NFL season. Last Friday, they got the news that Josh Gordon was being conditionally reinstated by the NFL. But his return also means that they will likely have one less spot open for a receiver option on the team's final 53-man roster.

While Gordon is starting his time with the team on the NFI list, he may not stay there long. As a result, the team needed to release a player to make room for Gordon, but one of their veteran receivers made the decision easy for them. 

According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, veteran receiver Dontrelle Inman asked for his release from the Patriots and the team elected to grant it.

Veteran WR Dontrelle Inman has requested his release from the Patriots, and the club has agreed to release him, per a source.

— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 18, 2019

This isn't too much of a surprise, as Inman was becoming a longshot of making the Patriots' final roster. Considering that Gordon, Julian Edelman, and N'Keal Harry were virtually roster locks and impressive undrafted rookie Jakobi Meyers was trending in that direction as well, Inman would have had to fight with guys like Maurice Harris, Phillip Dorsett, and Braxton Berrios for one or two spots in the receiving corps. And evidently, Inman didn't like his chances of winning that battle.

Inman will now have a chance to try to latch onto another receiver-needy team before the season starts. Or, he can wait to sign with a team that suffers injuries at the position.

As for the Patriots, they should be fine without Inman. They still have plenty of depth at the position and replacing Inman on the roster with Gordon will upgrade both their 90-man and 53-man units overall.

Slater on Gordon's return: "Football is No. 2">>>

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