Earlier today, the New England Patriots returned to the practice fields to kick off their on-field preparation for the upcoming divisional round playoff game against the Los Angeles Chargers. And as a look at the first practice report of the week shows, the Patriots are the healthier of the two clubs — with all 53 players on the active roster present for the session:
Did Not Participate
Chargers: RB Melvin Gordon (knee), C Mike Pouncey (thumb)
While the Patriots had perfect attention, two of the Chargers’ starters were absent: running back Melvin Gordon sat out today’s session after injuring his knee during last Sunday’s wild card game in Baltimore. His status — like the one of Mike Pouncey, who is dealing with a thumb issue — will be worth keeping a close eye on moving forward.
Patriots: TE Dwayne Allen (knee), DL Deatrich Wise Jr. (ankle)
Chargers: CB Brandon Facyson (concussion), FB Derek Watt (shoulder), LB Kyle Wilson (concussion)
As reported earlier today, Dwayne Allen returned to practice today — and as we now know it was in limited capacity. The veteran tight end, who originally hurt his knee in week 10, was one of two players with that designation: defensive edge Deatrich Wise Jr. was also limited due to an ankle injury. The second-year man has seen a bigger workload recently, so if his status for Sunday should be in doubt the rest of New England’s depth at the position might see more snaps.
Patriots: S Devin McCourty (concussion), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee)
Chargers: S Jahleel Addae (shoulder), TE Hunter Henry (knee), T Sam Tevi (groin)
Dwayne Allen was not the only player to return to practice today: safety Devin McCourty was also back on the field after sitting last week’s action out due to a concussion suffered during the regular season finale. Seeing him participate fully is an encouraging sign for his outlook with the divisional game just four days away. The same has to be said for jack-of-all-trades Cordarrelle Patterson and his previously injured knee.