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Instagram post by Patriots DE Jabaal Sheard sparks questions about his availability against 49ers

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Did New England's defensive end stay in Boston?

Last season, free agency acquisition Jabaal Sheard was the New England Patriots' best and most consistent edge defender. He was good against the pass and against the run and his performance allowed the team to trade Pro Bowler Chandler Jones.

This season, however, Sheard's play is far less spectacular. In fact, despite arguably being the Patriots' most talented edge defender, he has seemingly slid down the depth chart. Last week's loss against the Seattle Seahawks was the low point as he struggled mightily and played a mere 16 snaps on defense.

However, it seems as if Sheard has reached an even lower point — at least that's what a recent Instagram post suggests.

On Sheard’s account, a short clip of yesterday’s Boston Celtics game at Boston’s TD Garden was posted. The clip was released online at a time when the Patriots were already in to San Francisco. Naturally, this leads to the question if Sheard did not fly west with his teammates. If that was indeed the case, he would be a healthy scratch as he was not listed on yesterday’s final injury report of the week.

Of course, at this point in time, this is all speculation. After all, nothing has been confirmed by the Patriots and the clip — on which Sheard is not visible — could have been posted by someone else having access to his account. Still, the video adds another layer of intrigue to what has not been a good week for a player that was seen as a priority free agent just a few weeks ago.