The New England Patriots headed back to the practice fields Friday with two absences and a change at kicker.
Nick Folk, who was among a handful missing on Thanksgiving after undergoing an emergency appendectomy, has been released. And Kai Forbath, who was among more than a handful in for tryouts earlier this fall, has been signed to handle field goals against the Houston Texans.
But the Patriots have ruled out tight end Ryan Izzo for Sunday’s visit to NRG Stadium due to illness. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy, a non-participant with an illness of his own, is one of 17 questionable for New England.
Here’s the final injury report for the 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff.
- Patriots: TE Ryan Izzo (illness)
- Texans: DT Carlos Watkins (hamstring)
Left tackle Isaiah Wynn, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and cornerback Joejuan Williams all returned to practice to close the week after battling the flu. But Izzo remained sidelined for the third consecutive day. The second-year Patriots tight end was last active on Oct. 10.
Watkins will be missing from Houston’s side. The former Clemson defensive lineman missed each of this week’s Texans practices because of a hamstring injury.
- Patriots: no players listed
- Texans: OT Tytus Howard (knee)
Howard is the lone player listed as doubtful between New England and Houston.
The rookie offensive tackle continued to practice in a limited capacity on Friday with a knee injury. Howard has started all eight contests he’s appeared in since arriving at pick No. 23 overall out of Alabama State.
- Patriots: WR Mohamed Sanu (ankle), WR Phillip Dorsett (concussion), Julian Edelman (shoulder), WR Matthew Slater (hamstring), OT Isaiah Wynn (illness), OT Marcus Cannon (illness), G Jermaine Eluemunor (illness), DT Byron Cowart (head), LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (knee), LB Jamie Collins (illness), LB Dont’a Hightower (illness), LB Kyle Van Noy (illness), CB Jason McCourty (groin), CB Stephon Gilmore (illness), CB Joejuan Williams (illness), S Nate Ebner (ankle/back), S Patrick Chung (illness/heel)
- Texans: DT Angelo Blackson (shoulder), LB Brennan Scarlett (shoulder), CB Gareon Conley (hip)
The Patriots removed quarterback Tom Brady and defensive end John Simon from the injury report. Both have been dealing with elbow injuries, and graduated to full participation. But 32 percent of New England’s active roster is questionable for the flight to Houston. All of whom except the aforementioned Van Noy partook in on-field work Friday.
A trio of Texans have been designated as 50-50 for Sunday. That trio does not include wide receiver Will Fuller, or cornerbacks Lonnie Johnson and Bradley Roby. They’ve gotten the green light after beginning the week’s preparations as limited.