Patriots put LB Shea McClellin, with undisclosed injury, on IR

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots placed linebacker Shea McClellin on injured reserve Monday.

The move was expected after McClellin, who is a key player in certain defensive packages and on special teams, missed most of the preseason with an undisclosed injury.

McClellin, who played in 14 games last season (four starts) for the team, is eligible to be a short-term IR candidate and return later in 2017.

The Patriots value the athleticism and versatility of the 6-foot-3, 250-pound McClellin, who entered the NFL as a first-round draft choice of the Chicago Bears in 2012. That athleticism showed up on special teams when McClellin, who signed a three-year, $9 million deal with the Patriots as a free agent in 2016, leaped over the line of scrimmage to block a field goal against the Baltimore Ravens last December.

In part because of that play, the NFL banned leaping over the line of scrimmage this past offseason.

The Patriots rotate their linebackers depending on what package they play, and McClellin played 34.5 percent of the team's defensive snaps last season.

With the roster spot created by McClellin going to IR, the Patriots brought back veteran running back Brandon Bolden on Monday. Bolden, who has been a core special teams player in New England since 2012, had been released on Saturday.