After missing his second consecutive practice with an injured right knee, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly is looking less and less likely to suit up on Sunday, as the New England Patriots look to go 5-1 against the New Orleans Saints. Kelly injured his knee late in last week's game, tried to return, but could not play.
If Kelly is out, that will move defensive tackles Joe Vellano and Chris Jones further up the depth chart. It's also a possibility that nose tackle Andre Neblett, who was signed earlier this week, gets tossed into the action this weekend.
Kick returner Leon Washington also missed practice for the second time this week after injuring his ankle on Sunday. Washington had missed two games after sustaining a thigh injury in week two, but couldn't manage to stay healthy in his return to the field. He has been a big disappointment for the Patriots since he was expected to take the team's special teams success to another level. With only one kick return for an uninspiring 19 yards, Washington had better begin to prove himself soon.
Linebacker Jamie Collins also missed practice today, though the injury report says it is not injury related. Defensive end Michael Buchanan returned to the practice field today after missing yesterday's practice with something non-injury related, and we should expect the same from Collins for Friday's practice.
Injured offensive players, Stevan Ridley (knee), Danny Amendola (groin), Aaron Dobson (neck), and Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm), all remained limited in practice on Thursday.
On potentially returning on Sunday, Gronkowski gave a generic reply to reports: "I'm just working hard every week, working hard out at practice, and nothing's changed. We're day by day, like we've been from the very beginning."
That's right, and it's likely that we once again won't find out if Rob Gronkowski plays until Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned for tomorrow's injury report to find out what players are labeled as out, doubtful, questionable, or probable. Here is this week's injury report so far:
|DT Tommy Kelly||Knee||Out||Out|
|RB Leon Washington||Ankle||Out||Out|
|LB Jamie Collins||Not Injury Related||---||Out|
|DE Michael Buchanan||Not Injury Related||Out||---|
|WR Danny Amendola||Groin||Limited||Limited|
|RB Brandon Bolden||Knee||Limited||Limited|
|WR Aaron Dobson||Neck||Limited||Limited|
|TE Rob Gronkowski||Back/Forearm||Limited||Limited|
|LB Dont'a Hightower||Knee||Limited||Limited|
|LB Jerod Mayo||Ankle||Limited||Limited|
|DE Rob Ninkovich||Groin||Limited||Limited|
|RB Stevan Ridley||Knee||Limited||Limited|
|WR Matthew Slater||Wrist||Limited||Limited|
|C Ryan Wendell||Concussion||Limited||Limited|
|RT Sebastian Vollmer||Foot||Limited||Limited|
|S Tavon Wilson||Hamstring||Limited||Limited|
|CB Kyle Arrington||Groin||Full||Full|
|DB Nate Ebner||Ankle||Full||Full|