The Patriots on Wednesday placed running back Rex Burkhead and rookie linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley on injured reserve.

The IR designation means the two will miss a minimum of eight weeks.

Burkhead suffered a neck injury in the second half of Sunday night's 26-10 loss to the Detroit Lions.

The fifth-year pro has a long injury history, including suffering a knee injury in training camp and a concussion earlier this season.

Burkhead is one of the top running backs in a rotation that also includes James White and Sony Michel.

The Patriots on Wednesday also announced the signing of Kenjon Barner. The 28-year-old running back had signed with the Patriots on Sept. 11, but was released eight days later.

It was not immediately clear what kind of injury Bentley suffered.

A fifth-rounder out of Purdue, Bentley was one of the team's defensive standouts at training camp. The 22-year-old rookie earned a significant role, playing 63 percent of the Patriots' defensive snaps through the first three games of the season.

The team's depth chart at linebacker also includes Dont'a Hightower, Elandon Roberts, Kyle Van Noy, Nicholas Grigsby and Brandon King.

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