Updated: September 27, 2014, 1:48 PM ET


By
Mike Reiss
| ESPNBoston.com


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots‘ run defense took a hit Saturday as the club announced that Sealver Siliga has been placed on injured reserve with a designation to return.

The move means Siliga is not eligible to practice again for at least six weeks, and will be eligible to return to games after eight weeks if healthy. Each NFL team is allowed to place one player on the injured reserve/designated to return list per season.

The 6-foot-2, 325-pound Siliga has most recently helped improve the interior of the Patriots’ run defense, which was gashed in the season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins. Paired with 6-foot-2, 325-pound Vince Wilfork, he added important size and strength at the point of attack.

Siliga usually comes off the field in passing situations, which reflects his primary value as a run-stuffer, as he played 41 of 74 snaps against Miami, 40 of 68 against Minnesota in Week 2, and then 11 against the Raiders before sustaining his foot injury late in the first quarter.

Second-year players Chris Jones and Joe Vellano project to see an increase in playing time in Siliga’s absence, as well as first-round draft choice Dominique Easley.

In addition, the Patriots signed first-year defensive lineman Casey Walker off the Carolina Panthers‘ practice squad to fill their open spot on the 53-man roster. The 24-year-old Walker entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Carolina out of Oklahoma State, and at 6-foot-1 and 340 pounds, he is closer to Siliga’s physical profile than Jones, Vellano and Easley.

The Patriots visit the Kansas City Chiefs on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” this week.