While the New England Patriots’ acquisition of Antonio Brown is dominating the news cycle since yesterday, let’s not forget that the team also will play its first game of the regular season later today. The reigning world champions will host the Pittsburgh Steelers; they will unveil their sixth Super Bowl banner and try to start the season on the right foot. Speaking of feet: one player’s will likely keep him out of the highly anticipated matchup.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, tight end Matt LaCosse is not expected to suit up against the Steelers tonight. The 26-year-old was listed as ‘questionable’ on Friday’s injury report because of an ankle injury he originally suffered during the first week of preseason. With LaCosse about to get declared inactive, second-year man Ryan Izzo will be the lone tight end on the Patriots’ 46-man game day roster today.
With fellow tight end Benjamin Watson suspended for the first four weeks of the regular season, LaCosse was expected to be the top option at the position early on during the year. But even now that his ankle injury forces the team to take it slow with its free agency acquisition — LaCosse was picked up on a two-year, $4.8 million contract in March — the first-year Patriot will likely receive considerable playing time further down the line.
LaCosse was one of three players listed on the final injury report of the week. While there have been no updates yet about the status of safety Obi Melifonwu, who is also questionable to play because of an ankle injury, it looks like wide receiver Demaryius Thomas might be headed towards inactivity or at least a reduced role: the Patriots will reportedly be cautious when it comes to the status of his hamstring.