Jake Bailey is officially done for the season.
The New England Patriots punter’s highly-disappointing season went off a cliff and officially hit rock bottom ahead of the regular season finale on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
Bailey had been working his through a back injury that has kept him out since the Patriots’ Week 9 meeting with the Indianapolis Colts.
There was hope that he’d be able to return and change the narrative in the second half of the season, but according to coach Bill Belichick on Friday, the 25-year-old special-teamer is reverting back to injured reserve after missing the window for a return.
Back in August, the Patriots made Bailey one of the top-three highest-paid punters in the league with a four-year, $13.5 million deal. There was an effort to lock him down to a multiple-year deal in hopes of solidifying his talent at the position for the foreseeable future.
What followed was Bailey’s worst NFL season.
With an entire offseason to recover and bounce back, the Patriots can only hope they get the version of the player they thought high enough of to spend a fifth-round pick on in 2019.