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Patriots release former Virginia Tech tight end Dalton Keene

Dalton Keene couldn’t stay healthy in the NFL.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 07 Virginia Tech at Boston College Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In three seasons at Virginia Tech, tight end Dalton Keene didn’t miss a game. Keene appeared in 39 games for the Hokies, making 38 starts. During his time with the Hokies, Keene caught 59 passes for 748 yards and eight touchdowns. Like James Mitchell, the former coaching staff didn’t know how to employ Keene best.

So when Keene entered the 2020 NFL draft, no one was surprised. Surely, NFL coaches would know how to use Keene. And when the New England Patriots selected him in the third round, it was seen as a positive for Keene.

Unfortunately, New England waived Keene on Sunday after two seasons with the Patriots and three receptions for 16 yards.

The reason was Keene couldn’t stay healthy. After appearing in six games during the 2020 season, Keene missed the entire 2021 NFL season. It’s an unfortunate break for the 6-foot-4, 251-pound Keene, but if healthy, he shouldn’t have a problem finding a new home soon.

Keene’s athleticism and versatility are perfect in today’s NFL. He can line up as a traditional tight end, in the slot, as an H-back, or as a fullback. That type of versatility is valued.

Here’s hoping Keene lands in a good situation soon.