New England Patriots defensive tackle Kyle Love won’t be starting for the team this season. In fact, he won’t be a member of the team at all.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, the Patriots have informed Love of his release with a “non-football injury designation”:
Fortunately for the veteran defensive tackle, he was quickly snapped up by the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to Reiss.
According to his report, the 6’1”, 315-pound defensive tackle was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes—an ailment his agent Richard Kopelman hints could be a potential factor in New England’s decision:
We have been informed by the New England Patriots that Kyle Love will be released NFI (Non-Football Injury/Illness). This comes on the heels of Kyle having been diagnosed within the past two weeks with Type-2 diabetes. Naturally, we are disappointed that the Patriots decided to part ways with Kyle, especially in light of the fact that a number of elite professional athletes with diabetes – both Type-1, which is known to be far more difficult to manage than Type-2 diabetes – have had very successful careers in professional football, hockey, baseball and basketball.
Kopelman went on to explain that Love suffered unexplained weight loss prior to being diagnosed, but that he has since regained that weight and should be at “100 percent” very soon.
The Mississippi State product went undrafted in 2010, and the Patriots later signed him to play on the defensive line. Love thrived in New England’s 4-3 scheme, going on to start 11 games at the position in 2012.
In the last two seasons, the 26-year-old appeared in 32 regular-season contests, tallying 58 tackles and 4.5 sacks in that span. He also appeared in six postseason games since he was signed in 2010.
New England has some options to replace the wide-bodied defensive tackle this season. The Patriots signed former Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Tommy Kelly in free agency, but also released 2012 contributor Brandon Deaderick prior to Love’s release.
Defensive line depth has never been an issue for the Patriots, but releasing two solid producers like Love and Deaderick may be cause for concern. If Kelly or Vince Wilfork misses any substantial amount of time in 2013, New England may have to scramble to find a suitable replacement.