Patriots place Rex Burkhead, Ja'Whaun Bentley on IR

The New England Patriots have suffered significant blows to both their offense and defense ahead of Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.

The Patriots placed running back Rex Burkhead and linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley on injured reserve, the team announced Wednesday.

Burkhead suffered a neck injury during Sunday's loss to the Detroit Lions while Bentley suffered an undisclosed ailment during the game. It remains to be seen if the two players will return this season. NFL rules allow for up to two players to be allowed to return from injured reserve after eight weeks.

Through three games, Burkhead was the team's leading rusher with 86 yards on 24 carries. With the veteran ball hauler sidelined, first-round pick Sony Michel and James White should see plenty of carries in Sunday's AFC East matchup with the Dolphins.

Bentley was in the midst of a strong rookie campaign, tallying 14 tackles and an interception.

New England signed running back Kenjon Barner and defensive end John Simon to take up their places on the roster.

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