The biggest stories coming out of the New England Patriots’ 31-20 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday were the offense’s inability to consistently move the football against a stout defense, and the defensive struggles versus Blake Bortles and the opponent’s passing game. One additional storyline that should not be underestimated, however, is the health situation of the team.
After all, three defenders were dinged up during the contest: Trey Flowers and Patrick Chung both left the game with concussions, while Deatrich Wise Jr. appeared to have hurt his finger in the fourth quarter. While there are no updates on Flowers and Chung yet, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reports that Wise Jr.’s injury is not seen as an all too serious one:
Deatrich Wise dislocated his finger against the Jaguars, according to a source. It was described as not too serious of an issue.
In his one-plus year in the NFL, Wise Jr. has established himself as a core member of the Patriots’ rotation at the defensive edge position. The injury is therefore worth keeping a close eye on, especially considering Flowers’ concussion: Wise Jr. saw additional playing time against Jacksonville with Flowers out and ultimately was on the field for 76% of New England’s defensive snaps – more than any other defensive lineman.
If he and Flowers are unavailable or limited heading into the Patriots’ week three game against the Detroit Lions, second-year defender Derek Rivers – New England’s highest draft pick from a year ago – will likely see an increased workload in practice and might appear in his first-ever NFL game on Sunday.