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Week 1 Patriots vs Chiefs: New England lists seven players on first injury report

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The Patriots have released their first injury report of the season.

NFL: New York Giants at New England Patriots Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, the New England Patriots will kick off the 2017 NFL season against the visiting Kansas City Chiefs. Before the game, the defending world champions will unveil their fifth Super Bowl banner – today, they have already unveiled something else: the first injury report of the season. Let's take a look at it.

Did not participate

OT Cameron Fleming (ankle)

DT Vincent Valentine (knee)

Both Fleming and Valentine are backup players and are not expected to see a lot of snaps on a regular basis. The team can therefore afford to play it safe with the duo without any noticeable drop-off at the top of the depth chart.

Limited participation

DT Adam Butler (knee)

SS Nate Ebner (shoulder)

LB Harvey Langi (concussion)

WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)

WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)

The three biggest names on the least are the least surprising: Core special teamers Matthew Slater and Nate Ebner have been slowed by injury for most of the preseason, while Mitchell apparently re-aggravated the knee injury that forced him to miss spring practices. All three are important members of their units, so their situation will be monitored closely.

The biggest news probably concerns the players not listed on the injury report: Starting left tackle Nate Solder and defensive captain Dont'a Hightower have been full practice participants today. The two stars missed all of preseason due to injuries and recovery work. Seeing them not on the list is therefore a good sign as the season opener nears.