Josh Uche, downgraded to out for Sunday’s Patriots game vs. Dolphins, reportedly garnering trade interest


Uche has been speculated to be a popular trade target over the last few weeks.

Josh Uche recorded 11.5 sacks last season. Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Josh Uche may have already played his final snap with the Patriots.

The Patriots linebacker’s status for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins was downgraded to out due to an ankle/toe injury, the team announced Saturday.

The news of Uche’s absence from Sunday’s game coincided with a report on his potential movement at the trade deadline. Uche was tabbed as a player “worth watching” and has “garnered trade interest” ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported.

Uche has been speculated as a popular trade candidate in recent weeks, when the Patriots lost three games in a row and were viewed as a possible seller at the trade deadline. The fourth-year linebacker is in the final year of his rookie deal, making it a bit more likely that the Patriots would be willing to part ways with him.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn’t signal what the team’s stance would be ahead of the trade deadline when he spoke to reporters on Friday. Obviously, Belichick hasn’t been known to tip his hand over the years, but he did share some insight into what could come into play when trading a player away at the deadline.

When asked if the compensatory pick formula is a “sort of tertiary factor” in making a trade, Belichick said that it “has some relevance.” Typically, teams that lose the highest-signed players in free agency will receive a third- or fourth-round pick.

That also appears to be what the Patriots might be looking for in return in a possible trade involving Uche, according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.

“He’s valuable, and he has a premium skill, which is as a pass-rusher,” Breer said while laying out the Patriots’ possible deadline plans while appearing on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak and Bertrand.” “So, they’re gonna listen on, my understanding is, just about everybody. Now, that’s within reason. Like, they’re not gonna trade Christian Gonzalez off IR. But they’re gonna listen.

“And the more people I talked to last week, the more I got the idea that they’re gonna be fishing around for, like, third- and fourth-round picks a little bit. So, if they can add one of those or two of those for a player that maybe isn’t playing a lot, or they’re not gonna re-sign, I think that would be the sort of idea that they’d be looking at.”

There haven’t been any teams linked to Uche in reports ahead of the deadline, adding some intrigue about his status.

After struggling in his first two seasons in the league, Uche had a breakout campaign in 2022. He recorded 11.5 sacks last season with 56 pressures, per Pro Football Focus. He’s taken a bit of a step back this season, recording just two sacks and 17 pressures as he suffered an injury in Week 6.

Uche has also mostly been a passing-down player over his career. He’s only played 36 percent of the Patriots’ defensive snaps this season and 773 of his 933 career defensive snaps have been on passing plays, per PFF.

As it pertains to Sunday’s game, the Patriots also downgraded offensive tackle Vedarian Lowe to out with an ankle injury. While Lowe lost his starting spot at right tackle to Mike Onwenu last week, he was the Patriots’ top backup offensive tackle.

The Patriots will also be without offensive tackle Calvin Anderson, who was ruled out Friday with an illness.