The New England Patriots returned to practice earlier today to start their on-field preparations for their upcoming game against the New York Jets. While the team received some reinforcements in the form of Malcolm Mitchell and James Harrison, it had far from perfect attendance at today’s session:
Did not participate
Patriots: QB Tom Brady (ankle/left shoulder), DT Alan Branch (knee), RB Rex Burkhead (knee), RB Mike Gillislee (knee)
Jets: DL Leonard Williams (back), OL Brandon Shell (concussion), WR Robby Anderson (illness), RB Matt Forte (knee), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ribs/foot), CB Mo Claiborne (foot), WR Jermaine Kearse (ankle)
The biggest name of the Patriots’ absentees obviously is quarterback Tom Brady. After a full week of participation last week, the NFL’s best quarterback was a no-show today because of injuries to his achilles as well as his left, non-throwing shoulder. Brady had been dealing with both earlier this season and it appears as if they were reaggravated recently.
Also a new addition to the list is running back Mike Gillislee, who is dealing with a knee injury. With Rex Burkhead out as well and James White limited because of an ankle issue, the Patriots' running back depth chart has taken another hit: Dion Lewis and Brandon Bolden are the lone two fully healthy backs currently on the roster.
The absences of Burkhead and defensive tackle Alan Branch are no surprises. Both have been dealing with their respective knee injuries for quite some time now and the goal should be to get them ready for the divisional playoff round in two-and-a-half weeks.
Patriots: WR Chris Hogan (shoulder), DE Eric Lee (ankle), FS Devin McCourty (shoulder), WR Matthew Slater (hamstring), LB Kyle Van Noy (calf), OT LaAdrian Waddle (ankle), RB James White (ankle)
Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins (ankle/shoulder)
The Patriots' list of limited players looks a little different when compared to last week's final injury report. While safety Devin McCourty has been added due to a shoulder injury, two players have been removed: The above-mentioned Brandon Bolden, who was dealing with a groin issue, and special teams ace Brandon King (hamstring).
The other six players listed as limited were just that last week as well. Chris Hogan, Kyle Van Noy and James White were ultimately declared inactive for the game against the Buffalo Bills. Whether they will return to game action this week remains to be seen.
Jets: LB David Bass (ankle), WR JoJo Nelson (shoulder), OL Wesley Johnson (hip), OL James Carpenter (knee)
New England has no players listed as full participants today, while four of the Jets' players were given this designation. All four are naturally expected to be ready to play on Sunday.