The New England Patriots did not just lose their Week 6 game against the Denver Broncos with a final score of 18-12, they also suffered some injuries along the way — the first time all season that the team was obviously bitten by the injury bug during a game. In total, three players had to be attended by the team’s medical staff on Sunday with one of the men to go down eventually leaving the contest not to return.
With that said, let’s take a look at the Patriots’ injuries from their loss against the Broncos.
OT Jermaine Eluemunor: Just 12 snaps into the game, the Patriots’ offensive line lost its starting right tackle to what appeared to be a serious ankle injury: Eluemunor was rolled up in the first period while quarterback Cam Newton was sacked from the other side of the line. The 25-year-old stayed on the ground and later was helped off the field by a pair of trainers. He was initially listed as questionable to return but eventually was ruled out for the remainder of the contest — putting more pressure on an offensive line that already was without center David Andrews (injured reserve) and guard Shaq Mason (Reserve/Covid-19). So far, there have been no further updates regarding Eluemunor’s status.
DT Adam Butler: Heading into the contest, defensive tackle Adam Butler was listed as questionable on the Patriots’ injury report because of a shoulder ailment. When he went down in the second quarter grabbing his arm, the early thought was that he may have re-injured the shoulder. However, Butler was eventually listed with an elbow issue — one that may not have been as serious as it initially looked like: he returned to the sidelines after a short trip to the locker room, and played two more snaps on defense after getting hurt. Butler and New England’s defensive tackle group may have dodged a bullet.
TE Ryan Izzo: The Patriots’ number one tight end was injured shortly after Butler: he remained on the ground following a 12-yard catch with what appeared to be an ankle or lower leg injury. After leaving the field under his own power and staying out for one snap, however, the third-year man returned to the field to quickly catch another pass. All in all, Izzo finished the game having played 35 of a possible 57 offensive snaps.
QB Cam Newton: As opposed to the other men listed here, Cam Newton did not miss any time during the game. However, the Patriots’ quarterback appeared to hurt his right throwing hand at one point in the third quarter on a quarterback hit. He stayed in the game, but held his hand after the play. Later in the fourth period, he had some inaccuracies that may have been tied to the issue.
What this means for the Patriots
While Butler and Izzo are valuable members of their respective position groups as well, and Newton is the team’s starting quarterback, Eluemunor’s status will probably be watched the most closely over the coming days. While rookie Justin Herron looked serviceable filling in for the starter both in Week 4 — when Eluemunor dealt with a migraine — and on Sunday, the offensive line as a whole is getting thinner across the board as mentioned above.
While David Andrews is eligible to be reactivated off of injured reserve this week, Shaq Mason’s status remains up in the air after he was sent to the Coronavirus reserve list over the weekend. As a result, the entire right side of the Patriots’ offensive line is under some tremendous pressure with the team turning to Joe Thuney, Hjalte Froholdt and Justin Herron to fill the three spots from center out. That lineup has never practiced in this form before being thrown into the fire on Sunday.
Of course, the next few days will give us a clearer picture when it comes to the Patriots’ medical situation. For one, the first injury report of the week leading up to the game against the San Francisco 49ers will be released on Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile, the team will continue to actively screen its personnel to keep a close eye on the Coronavirus situation in light of the recent positive tests by defensive tackle Byron Cowart, offensive lineman James Ferentz and running back Sony Michel.