When the New England Patriots kick off their week seven game against the Chicago Bears at 1:00 p.m. ET today, they will have only one healthy tight end available: Dwayne Allen, who is known more for his blocking than his pass catching after registering a mere 11 catches in his 1.5 seasons in New England. Today, however, Allen will be the Patriots’ number one – and only one – player at a position that has been decimated by injury.
Rob Gronkowski was not on the flight to Chicago with his teammates yesterday and has been downgraded from “questionable” to “doubtful” due to ankle and back injuries. Despite not yet being officially declared “out”, he will not play today. The team’s third tight end, meanwhile, has also been downgraded. Jacob Hollister, however, will certainly not be available today as his status has been changed to “out” due to a hamstring issue.
Hollister is one of three players the team has announced as “out” on Saturday night:
DE Geneo Grissom (ankle)
TE Jacob Hollister (hamstring)
DE John Simon (shoulder)
The trio joins starting right tackle Marcus Cannon as players who will not be available today. As noted above, Rob Gronkowski will also be on that list soon, which means that the Patriots need to declare two more players as inactives ahead of their game against the Bears.