The New England Patriots returned to the practice fields today in preparation for their regular season finale against the Miami Dolphins. While attendance was not perfect, the team saw two key members of its offense return: quarterback Tom Brady and running back Dion Lewis.
Let’s take a look at today’s practice report to see how they and the rest of their teammates were listed:
WR Danny Amendola (Ankle): Did not participate
CB Cyrus Jones (Knee): Did not participate
WR Malcolm Mitchell (Knee): Did not participate
TE Martellus Bennett (Ankle/Shoulder): Limited participation
QB Tom Brady (Thigh): Limited participation
LB Dont’a Hightower (Knee): Limited participation
WR Matthew Slater (Foot): Limited participation
RB Dion Lewis (Illness): Removed from report
After being out yesterday, Brady returned today in limited capacity, while Lewis was removed from the report. While the team will play it as safe as possible with Brady (and Lewis as well), he will not miss any actual playing time because of his thigh injury.
The third change to the report is the status of Cyrus Jones. After being limited yesterday, Jones was absent today. With him being only a depth option on defense and at times a liability in the return game, the Patriots might choose to keep him out this week.
The same might happen to the two other players absent today. Amendola has been out of practice since injuring his ankle in week 13. He will likely be out again on Sunday and return to the field when the Patriots start preparing for the playoffs. After missing his second straight session, the team might opt to give Mitchell the same treatment. This, in turn, would thrust recently acquired Michael Floyd into the number three wide receiver role.
The statuses of the other four players listed did not change. It remains to be seen how the team approaches them come Sunday’s game. It would not be a surprise, though, if Hightower or Slater get rested another week.