The New England Patriots have won their opening game against the Arizona Cardinals despite missing some of their premier players either to suspension or injury. Among those injured were the team’s best skill position player and its starting left tackle. While the Patriots were able to overcome the health-related absences of Rob Gronkowski and Nate Solder, the team is unquestionably better with them on the field.
Today, both were. New England held a practice session behind Gillette Stadium and via the team’s practice report, attendance was as follows:
LB Dont’a Hightower (Knee): DNP
CB Malcolm Butler (Ankle): LP
OT Marcus Cannon (Knee): LP
OG Jonathan Cooper (Foot): LP
DE Trey Flowers (Shoulder): LP
TE Rob Gronkowski (Hamstring): LP
OG Shaq Mason (Hand): LP
LB Shea McClellin (Shoulder): LP
OT Nate Solder (Hamstring): LP
WR Chris Hogan (Shoulder): FP
Hightower is a new addition to the list. He originally suffered his injury on the second series of Sunday’s game against the Cardinals but played through it – even though his play suffered. Given his importance to the Patriots’ defense both on and off the field as well as the fact that he is in a contract year, Hightower’s injury needs to be watched closely by the team.
There have also been a few other changes compared to the last injury report the team released last Friday: rookie wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (elbow) has been removed from the list, while Malcolm Butler and Marcus Cannon have been added.
Butler did not appear to suffer an injury on Sunday, as he played a very solid game and all 61 of the team’s defensive snaps. On offense, Cannon also played 100% of New England’s offensive snaps, although his knee forced him onto a cart after the game.