Suspension Causes 2018 UDFA To Miss Important Time In 2022

June 15, 2022
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Two Game Suspension.

The New England Patriots will be without number 95, Defensive Tackle Daniel Ekuale, for at least the first two games of the National Football League season due to a suspension, according to a tweet from ESPN’s own Field Yates. At the moment, there is no word on what drew the suspension. However, it is a quick way to end up in Bill Belichick’s dog house. Several others also confirmed it.

His College Career.

At Washington State University, the former three-star recruit started 21 of 51 games for the Cougars. There he recorded a combined 71 tackles, producing 45 on his own. He also had three sacks over that span and two forced fumbles.

His Early NFL Career

He entered the league in 2018 as an undrafted free agent with the Cleveland Browns. He spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons with the Browns. There he played in seven games, recording four combined tackles with one tackle for a loss. Cleveland parted ways with him after the 2019 season.

During the covid season of 2020, He was part of the Jacksonville Jaguars. In Jacksonville, he would play in nine games, starting five. He recorded 13 tackles, including one for a loss, one quarterback hit, and a sack, which was enough to get the attention of the Patriots, who acquired him after the Jaguars gave up on him.

What Value Did He Bring To The Patriots?

The big man who spent most of the 2021 season on the practice squad played in seven regular-season games and one playoff game for the Patriots, which was good enough to receive a futures contract.

During that span, Ekuale had two quarterback hits, two tackles for losses, two sacks, and six combined tackles, one coming from the playoff game against Buffalo.

His Position Battle Ahead

Daniel is 28-years-old entering his fifth season in the NFL. Ekuale is another big camp body for the Patriots’ defensive line. He stands six foot three inches and weighs a massive three hundred pounds. Also, he has a wing span of 77 and three-quarter inches. His vertical jump is approximately 31 inches, and he also ran a 5.24 forty time at his pro day. So while he might not be able to chase down ball carriers, they should have a tough time getting by him.

Currently, at defensive tackle, the Patriots have Carl Davis, Byron Cowart, Lawrence Guy, Bill Murray, LaBryan Ray, and Sam Roberts competing with him for a spot. Christian Barmore and Devon Godchaux are the only two tackles he will not budge.

The Patriots are sure to have an intense battle at the defensive tackle position as they were ranked 22nd against the rush, giving up a total of 2,103 yards on the ground. Which just happened to equate to 123.7 yards per game. In their three games against the division champions, they gave up 99, 114, and 174 yards on the ground. And seeing the Patriots are going smaller at linebacker, they will need the larger bodies on the line to step up. Especially in the interior if they will challenge for the division or a wild card spot.

How Does The Suspension Affect The Patriots?

At best, he would have been a rotation depth piece for the Patriots in 2022. Luckily for the Patriots, they will not have to worry about what to do with him until week three. Since he spent most of the 2021 season on the practice squad, the Patriots will likely move him back to the practice squad once his suspension has been lifted, providing he survives the preseason cuts.

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