Bad news just landed at training camp for the New England Patriots. As the team readies to try and bounce back from a disappointing 2020 season with the quarterback battle taking center stage, it's the defense that also needs to improve, and mightily -- one reason the club brought on Raekwon McMillan this offseason. The hope was that McMillan would help make an impact at the linebacker position, but they won't get the chance to see what he can do. The 25-year-old reportedly suffered a torn ACL in practice recently, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, and will miss the entirety of the 2021 season.
And considering McMillan signed a one-year deal with the Patriots, his stint with them is now over before it got started. It's also the second time he has torn his ACL, having suffered the same injury -- on his other knee -- as a rookie with the Miami Dolphins in 2017.
McMillan is a former second-round pick of the Dolphins who played in South Florida through the 2019 season, ascending to the role of starting middle linebacker before landing in injured reserve that December. A few months later, he was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders in exchange for fourth- and fifth-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. He would go on to sign with the Patriots in the first wave of free agency this offseason, and must now again spend the next several months recovering and hoping to get another shot at proving himself in the league one year from now.
The loss of McMillan is yet another blow to a LB corps in New England that already has Terez Hall on the PUP list (physically unable to perform) and Cameron McGrone on the NFI list (non-football injury) -- as they hemorrhage depth at the position a few weeks ahead of the regular-season opener against McMillan's former team, when the Dolphins travel to Gillette Stadium on Sept. 12.