Knighton acknowledged after the game that it wasn’t a good sign for him.
“You’re always concerned when you’re not playing,” Knighton said. “I prepared myself to play, the coaches made the decisions on who they wanted to play, and I’m not going to ask any questions or make any excuses or look for any explanation. I’m just going to get dressed, get back on the plane and see what happens.”
Patriots HC Bill Belichick explained that they played Knighton more last week and wanted to see some younger guys last night.
“Some new techniques, some new things, different things than what he’s been used to,” Belichick said. “We played the younger guys tonight; we didn’t get as much of a look at him. He played a little more last week. I think it’s a good competition at that position. We’ll have to see how it all plays out.”
Knighton, 30, wound up signing a one-year, $2.05 million contract with the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent back in March. The contract includes another $2.5 million available through incentives.
According to OverTheCap.com, releasing Knighton would free up $1,768,750 in available cap space while creating $250,000 in dead money.
In 2015, Knighton appeared in 15 games for the Redskins and totaled 29 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 27 defensive tackle out of 70 qualifying players.