Today, the 2016 NFL season kicks off. In three days, the New England Patriots enter the competition with their nationally broadcasted matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. It seems as if the team will do so in solid physical condition.
According to multiple media reports, the team again had perfect attendance during today’s practice session, which was held in shorts and shells. Yet, the Patriots’ injury report did not change compared to yesterday’s:
Patriots injury report is the same as yesterday's. pic.twitter.com/A2RoVGEBn6— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) September 8, 2016
During the media availability session after practice, Gronkowski acknowledged that his hamstring is bothering him and that he is not yet 100 percent. Whether he plays on Sunday or not comes down to a coaches’ decision, the All-world tight end noted. Gronkowski is one of seven players, who practiced in limited capacity today - the same number as yesterday.
With guards Cooper and Mason fighting their way back from injury, and with veteran Josh Kline released, rookie guard Ted Karras may see some playing time on Sunday. Of course, a lot could change over the next three days, and either Cooper or Mason could be back on the field by then. However, there is a chance that the Patriots start the season with two rookies playing significant snaps at the two guard spots.
Throw in Nate Solder’s hamstring issue and it becomes clear that the offensive line - a unit that struggled last season - faces the most questions entering the new season.