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Why Patriots EDGE Trey Flowers dressed, but didn’t play against the Texans

The Patriots pass rusher received the star treatment.

QB Tom Brady played. TE Rob Gronkowski played. FS Devin McCourty played. CB Malcolm Butler and CB Stephon Gilmore played.

The New England Patriots played almost every one of their healthy starters against the Houston Texans in the second week of the preseason, except for one.

EDGE Trey Flowers dressed and was ready to play, but the coaches decided to hold him out, according to CSNNE’s Phil Perry.

Trey Flowers did not play in Saturday night's game against the Texans despite feeling fine physically, he said after the game, indicating it was a coach's decision to keep him sidelined,” Perry writes.

The Patriots were already short-handed at the position, with Derek Rivers possibly lost for the season with an ACL injury, Deatrich Wise sidelined with a head injury, Geneo Grissom not playing for an undisclosed injury, and new-signing Keionta Davis not ready to take the field. Possible edge defender/linebacker hybrids Dont’a Hightower and Shea McClellin were also unavailable fo rthe game.

That left Flowers, Kony Ealy, and Caleb Kidder as the only healthy edge defenders on the roster. With Flowers not playing, the Patriots asked Harvey Langi, Kyle Van Noy, and Adam Butler to play on the edge as opposed to their typical linebacker and defensive tackle positions.

The Patriots can’t afford to lose Flowers to an injury so he received the rare bubble wrap treatment from the coaches, usually only given to injury-risk players like Rob Gronkowski. Hopefully Flowers is able to remain healthy heading into the regular season because the Patriots pass rush was nearly invisible without him on the field, collecting just one quarterback hit and one sack- both by defensive tackles (Lawrence Guy, sack; Adam Butler, hit).