The New England Patriots held another practice session preparing for Super Bowl LI today. According to reports, it was a highly competitive session – and one that saw yet another defensive tackle practice in limited capacity.
Let’s take a look at the Patriots’ latest injury report:
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
DT Alan Branch (toe)
SS Nate Ebner (concussion)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DT Vincent Valentine (back)
Defensive tackle Vincent Valentine is the lone change compared to yesterday’s injury report. The rookie was added with a back injury and participated on a limited basis because of it. With Valentine added to today’s report and Alan Branch also limited due to a toe injury he suffered yesterday, Malcom Brown is left as the lone defensive tackle on the active roster who is not dealing with a reported injury.
The Super Bowl is still three days away, though, and the team might just play it safe with its interior defensive linemen. After all, as Ian Rapoport reported earlier today, Branch is apparently good to go on Sunday – and it would not be a surprise if Valentine just like the rest of the limited players ultimately is as well.
Compared to the Patriots’ injury report, the Atlanta Falcons’ is rather short. However, it does include three of the team’s best and most important players:
Did not participate
DE Dwight Freeney (calf)
Freeney, who was not listed yesterday, missed today’s session due to a calf injury. While the veteran no longer is a three-down defender, he is still an important piece of the Falcons’ rotation at the defensive edge. His injury, therefore, has to be watched closely.
WR Julio Jones (toe)
OC Alex Mack (fibula)
No changes here, as Jones and Mack were limited for yet another practice session. They are, however, expected to play on Sunday.