During yesterday’s Boston Celtics game in Boston’s TD Garden, New England Patriots defensive end Jabaal Sheard posted a short clip of the game on Instagram. With the team having already traveled west due to its upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers, the post sparked speculation about whether or not Sheard did travel with the team.
It turns out that he did not, according to Mark Daniels:
I'm told Jabaal Sheard in fact did not travel with his teammates to San Francisco. This is being called a team decision.
The 27-year old was not listed on this week’s final injury report, so the decision to leave him in New England is apparently not injury related. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the decision was “performance-based”.
This leaves the Patriots with Rob Ninkovich, Chris Long, Trey Flowers and Geneo Grissom as the pure edge defenders for Sunday’s game. The team also could use linebackers Kyle Van Noy, Shea McClellin, Barkevious Mingo and Dont’a Hightower to play on the edge on Sunday.
Sheard, who entered the year as the Patriots’ number one edge defender after the team traded Chandler Jones, struggled to repeat his very good 2015 performance so far in 2016. The low point came last week against the Seattle Seahawks, when played a mere 16 defensive snaps. Sheard is in the last year of the two-year contract he signed prior to last season.