After beating the Miami Dolphins two days ago, the New England Patriots are only two days away from their next game. Today, the team returned to the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium to prepare for its upcoming opponent, the Houston Texans.
According to the Patriots’ injury report, the team had more players available than last week. Attendance was still not perfect, though:
CB Eric Rowe (Ankle): DNP
OG Jonathan Cooper (Foot): LP
DE Trey Flowers (Shoulder): LP
LB Jonathan Freeny (Shoulder): LP
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (Shoulder): LP
TE Rob Gronkowski (Hamstring): LP
LB Dont’a Hightower (Knee): LP
The biggest status is certainly that of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He left Sunday’s game with what later turned out to be an AC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder, so seeing him practice today can be considered a surprise – even if it was just on a limited basis. While this is still no clear indicator whether or not he will be available on Thursday, it is an encouraging sign for both player and team.
The current starting quarterback is not the only big name to return to the field today: starting linebacker Dont’a Hightower also returned after missing the entirety of last week – practices and the game – because of a knee injury. He was limited in his return, just like fellow linebacker Jonathan Freeny, who was the lone new addition to the injury report.
The statuses of Gronkowski and Cooper, who have not yet appeared in a game this season, as well as Flowers, who has been active twice, are still the same as they have been last week. The same is true for Eric Row.