The New England Patriots are just two days removed from their week four game against the Miami Dolphins, and also just two days removed from their week five game against the Indianapolis Colts. Today, the team held its first practice leading up to the upcoming Thursday nighter – and one big name was missing:
Did not participate
Patriots: TE Rob Gronkowski (ankle), OT LaAdrian Waddle (illness), CB Eric Rowe (groin)
Colts: TE Jack Doyle (hip), CB Nate Hairston (ankle), WR T.Y. Hilton (chest/hamstring), OC Ryan Kelly (hand), LB Darius Leonard (ankle), CB Kenny Moore II (concussion), DT Hassan Ridgeway (calf), CB Quincy Wilson (concussion), SS Clayton Geathers (knee), K Adam Vinatieri (right groin), OT Denzelle Good (not injury related)
After leaving Sunday’s game due to a re-aggravated ankle injury, Rob Gronkowski was not present for today’s walkthrough. While his absence does not per se rule the NFL’s best tight end out for Thursday’s game yet, it is not the best sign when it comes to his availability in two days. The Patriots holding Gronkowski out against Indianapolis and giving him additional time to rest is therefore a realistic scenario from today’s point of view.
Meanwhile, Eric Rowe is still hampered by the groin he injured during New England’s week two game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team’s number two cornerback missed the last two contests because of the issue and it would not be a surprise to see him sit out this week’s game as well. The same could hold true for LaAdrian Waddle, the team’s third offensive tackle.
Patriots: DT Adam Butler (knee), WR Josh Gordon (hamstring), DE Geneo Grissom (ankle), TE Jacob Hollister (chest), LB Brandon King (foot), LB Elandon Roberts (calf), DT Danny Shelton (elbow)
Colts: OT Anthony Castonzo (hamstring), RB Marlon Back (hamstring)
Adam Butler and Elandon Roberts both left Sunday’s game against the Dolphins due to injury, so seeing them back on the field today is a good sign when it comes to their long-term availability. Like Geneo Grissom and Jacob Hollister, the two defenders are relative question marks heading into week five. Josh Gordon, Brandon King and Danny Shelton, on the other hand, should be expected to play on Thursday.
Colts: TE Eric Ebron (knee), S Malik Hooker (hip), LB Anthony Walker (knee)
One player that was presumably participating fully during today’s practice but is not listed on the injury report is wide receiver Julian Edelman. The 32-year old returned from a four-game suspension yesterday but currently finds himself on a roster exempt list. Until he gets off the exemption and onto the Patriots’ active 53-man roster, the team does not need to list him on its practice report.