The New England Patriots listed three players as ‘questionable’ on their final injury report of the week: offensive tackle Marcus Cannon (shoulder), tight end Matt LaCosse (ankle) and running back/special teamer Brandon Bolden (hamstring) were no locks to play on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. And while the statuses of Cannon and LaCosse remain unchanged, Bolden has been downgraded to ‘out’ since yesterday.
Bolden not participating in the Patriots’ first divisional game of the season means that the team will have to replace one of its core special teamers. After all, the 29-year-old played the third most kicking game snaps during the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers — behind only Nate Ebner and Matthew Slater — and also served as Mew England’s kickoff returner. On the day, Bolden returned two kicks for a combined gain of 35 yards.
The veteran’s absence will not just have an impact on all four of the Patriots’ kickoff and punting units, it also alters the picture at running back. While Bolden played only a single offensive snaps last Sunday, he did provide valuable depth in case of an injury higher up on the position depth chart. With him now out, New England might turn to Damien Harris: the third-round rookie was inactive when the team had all hands on deck against Pittsburgh, but could make his debut tomorrow.
Bolden being declared ‘out’ for tomorrow's game was not the only news to come out of Foxborough today: the Patriots also took wide receiver Antonio Brown with them to Miami. This does not yet guarantee that he will play against the Dolphins, but at this point anything else than him seeing at least some snaps would be a major surprise.