The New England Patriots’ game against the Miami Dolphins is as big a game as a week four contest can be: two games behind its AFC East rival, the team needs to win in order to not lose ground in the race for the division crown. Entering the matchup, however, the Patriots are banged up – even after placing running back Rex Burkhead and linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley on injured reserve.
A look at the first injury report of the week confirms this:
Did not participate
Dolphins: LB Chase Allen (foot), WR Danny Amendola (not injury related), DE Andre Branch (knee), TE A.J. Derby (foot), DE Cameron Wake (knee)
Not only were two former Patriots absent during today’s Dolphins practice, two of the team’s most important defensive linemen were as well in Andre Branch and Cameron Wake. Their statuses will be worth keeping a close eye on this week.
Patriots: OT Marcus Cannon (calf), SS Patrick Chung (concussion), CB Keion Crossen (hamstring), SS Nate Ebner (hip), DE Trey Flowers (concussion), WR Josh Gordon (hamstring), DE Geneo Grissom (ankle), TE Rob Gronkowski (ankle), TE Jacob Hollister (chest), CB Eric Rowe (groin), DT Danny Shelton (elbow)
Dolphins: FS Reshad Jones (shoulder)
While the Patriots have perfect practice participation, eleven of their players were limited today. This list includes a few changes when compared to the final injury report the team released prior to its week three game in Detroit: Rob Gronkowski, for example, was re-added to the list after being removed off it on Friday. Danny Shelton and Geneo Grissom, meanwhile, are new additions on the report.
Patrick Chung, Trey Flowers and Jacob Hollister all returned to practice: the trio set out Sunday’s game against the Lions after missing the final practice of the week leading up to it. Even though they were limited today, seeing them back on the field is a good sign for their availability moving forward – especially when it comes to Chung and Flowers, two of the most valuable defenders on the Patriots’ roster.
Dolphins: LS John Denney (shoulder), DT Davon Godchaux (ankle), CB Bobby McCain (shoulder), QB Ryan Tannehill (right shoulder)
The five players listed as full participants will all play on Sunday – even though they are on the injury report.