Heading into today’s game against the New York Jets, the New England Patriots have already ruled out one of their players — fullback James Develin will not participate because of a neck injury — while five others are listed as questionable: tight ends Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo, offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, linebacker Shilique Calhoun, and core special teamer Nate Ebner . The latter, of course, is a new addition to the list.
Ebner’s name was nowhere to be found on the final practice report of the week released on Friday, but he apparently injured his groin since then. While the 30-year-old could still very well participate in the game against the Jets, a potential absence or even a limited number of snaps could have an impact on the Patriots’ special teams units. After all, Ebner is a core member on all four kick coverage groups.
As such, he was on the field for a team-high 38 of a possible 56 special teams snaps so far this season. With fellow core special teamer Calhoun also limited, this situation is one worth keeping an eye on when the Patriots announce their game-day inactives 90 minutes before the game against their AFC East rivals is kicked off.