Whenever it seems like the New England Patriots are just getting healthy, a few more names show up on the injury report each week. This week offensive lineman Marcus Cannon, wide receiver Aaron Dobson, and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui missed practice every day and will not play on Sunday against the Houston Texans.
With Cannon out with an ankle injury, the Patriots will now resort to their third string tackle, Will Svitek. The eight-year pro played extremely well last week after Cannon went down with an ankle injury early in the game.
Aaron Dobson's absence with a foot injury opens the door for Kenbrell Thompkins to get plenty of opportunities at the X-receiver position. The undrafted rookie out of Cincinnati has caught 31 passes for 450 yards and four touchdowns this season.
Newly signed tight end D.J. Williams could get his share of snaps with Michael Hoomanawanui out for the second week in a row with a knee injury. Though Williams is primarily a pass catcher, and Hooman is featured as a blocker, both play the "move" tight end position. Williams could be plugged right into that role, but instead of blocking, could spend his snaps running short routes as an outlet for quarterback Tom Brady.
The secondary remains banged up with cornerbacks Kyle Arrington (groin), Marquice Cole (shin), Alfonzo Dennard (knee), Aqib Talib (hip), and safety Steve Gregory (finger), all questionable for Sunday's game. All five players were limited all week, except for Dennard, who missed Thursday's practice entirely.
Despite the questionable designations, it's reasonable to assume that, at the least, three of these players should suit up for Sunday's tilt against the Texans.
On the offensive side of the ball, all the key ingredients needed for success are now healthy. Wide receiver Danny Amendola (groin), tight end Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm/hamstring), and running back Shane Vereen will all play on Sunday, much to the delight of Tom Brady.
Here is this week's full injury report for the New England Patriots:
|OL Marcus Cannon||Ankle||DNP||DNP||DNP||OUT|
|WR Aaron Dobson||Foot||DNP||DNP||DNP||OUT|
|TE Michael Hoomanawanui||Knee||DNP||DNP||DNP||OUT|
|CB Kyle Arrington||Groin||Limited||Limited||Limited||Questionable|
|CB Marquice Cole||Shin||Limited||Limited||Limited||Questionable|
|CB Alfonzo Dennard||Knee||Limited||DNP||Limited||Questionable|
|S Steve Gregory||Finger||Limited||Limited||Limited||Questionable|
|TE Rob Gronkowski||Back/Forearm/Hamstring||Limited||Limited||Limited||Questionable|
|CB Aqib Talib||Hip||Limited||Limited||Limited||Questionable|
|LB Chris White||Back||Limited||Limited||Limited||Questionable|
|WR Danny Amendola||Groin||Full||Full||Full||Probable|
|QB Tom Brady||Right Shoulder||Full||Full||Full||Probable|
|WR Matthew Slater||Wrist||Full||Full||Full||Probable|
|LB Brandon Spikes||Knee||Full||Full||Full||Probable|
|RB Shane Vereen||Wrist||Full||Full||Full||Probable|