The New England Patriots held another practice session today (take a look at the video above for an impression of the session), preparing for their highly anticipated matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Once again, the Patriots did not have perfect participation as a look at today's practice report shows:
Did Not Participate
Patriots: DT Alan Branch (knee), CB Johnson Bademosi (illness)
Steelers: CB Coty Sensabaugh (shoulder), TE Vance McDonald (shoulder)
Johnson Bademosi is a new addition to the list due to his illness – the latest member of the team to miss practice because of that reason. The cornerback, who is an important part of New England's special teams units, joins Alan Branch as today's no-shows.
It appears highly likely that neither the depth cornerback nor the veteran defensive tackle will make the trip to Pittsburgh. Branch's absence in particular would be a big blow considering that the Patriots will face one of the NFL's best running backs on Sunday, in the Steelers' Le'Veon Bell.
Patriots: CB Malcolm Butler (ankle), DL Trey Flowers (rib), CB Stephon Gilmore (ankle), LB David Harris (ankle), WR Chris Hogan (shoulder), DB Brandon King (hamstring), DL Eric Lee (ankle), WR Matthew Slater (hamstring), LB Kyle Van Noy (calf), OT LaAdrian Waddle (ankle), DL Deatrich Wise Jr. (foot)
Steelers: CB Joe Haden (fibula), LB Tyler Matakevich (shoulder), WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (hamstring), OL Maurkice Pouncey (OC)
The Patriots' list of limited players remains unchanged when compared to yesterday's injury report – it still includes a lot of core players on both offense and defense. Of course, the limited participants are no safe bets to play on Sunday even though some of them are expected to be ready: It would be a surprise to see Chris Hogan or Stephon Gilmore miss the game in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh's list of limited players saw two players added – and both play important roles on offense: Rookie wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster is dealing with a hamstring injury while center Maurkice Pouncy injured his hip. Neither player popped up on yesterday's report.
Patriots: QB Tom Brady (Achilles), WR Brandin Cooks (hand)
Steelers: WR Martavis Bryant (not injury related), DE Stephon Tuitt (illness)
Good news: For the second straight day, Tom Brady and his number one wide receiver were full participants in practice.