On Saturday, the New England Patriots will travel to Denver to face the 8-2 Broncos on their home turf. The team will have to do so less than 100% healthy as various members are fighting their ways back from injury. Among those players is starting wide receiver Danny Amendola.
The good news is that Amendola was spotted at today's walkthrough practice session. While his status for Sunday's prime time game is up in the air, it is a good sign to see him with the rest of the team (although probably in a limited capacity) after he left Monday's game against the Buffalo Bills with a knee injury midway through the third quarter. It has been reported that the injury is minor and that the wide receiver, who plays a big role in replacing number one pass catcher Julian Edelman, is day-to-day. Seeing him on the practice fields today is therefore a good sign for his progress.
Those players not spotted today include some key-contributors: linebacker Jamie Collins, special teamer Matthew Slater, cornerback Justin Coleman and wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Julian Edelman. Edelman will miss Sunday's game with a broken foot.
Collins, who might have been at the facility today given the status of his chair, is trying to come back from an undisclosed illness that has kept him out of the Patriots' last three games. Slater, on the other hand, was active the last three games and his absence comes as a surprise - given his importance to the team's special teams units, his status is worth keeping an eye on.
According to Jeff Howe, Coleman, who is the Patriots' number three cornerback, is not expected to play on Sunday. In his absence, New England's depth players at the safety position or cornerback Rashaan Melvin might see extended playing time against a formidable Denver skill position group.
Dobson not being on the practice fields today, is no surprise; after all, he left Monday's game against the Bills with what looked like a serious foot injury. Given the current status of the Patriots' receiving corps, losing Dobson for an extended period of time would be a blow - one that would get softened by Amendola quickly returning to full strength, though.