A look at their final injury report of the week shows that the New England Patriots are slowly getting healthier — good news for a team that is heading into its bye week after today’s game against the Tennessee Titans. However, today’s contest in Nashville might still see the team play without some of its most valuable players: while running back Sony Michel is on track to play, two fellow starters are not.
As was already reported yesterday, tight end Rob Gronkowski has made the trip to Tennessee but is not expected to be active. Meanwhile, the Patriots have officially shut down their first player ahead of the contest: guard Shaq Mason will miss his second straight game due to a calf injury. While the 25-year old returned to practice this week in a limited capacity, the team is playing it safe by giving him additional rest ahead of the bye.
In Mason’s absence, backup Ted Karras will again start at the right guard spot — familiar territory for the 25-year old: he already started last week against the Green Bay Packers and performed well. While the Titans feature a more talented defensive front headed by defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, Karras is a formidable player in his own right. Despite missing one of the best interior linemen in football, the Patriots offense should therefore be fine.