The New England Patriots faced one of the most difficult challenges in recent memory on Monday night. Coming off a weekend of uncertainty following quarterback Cam Newton’s positive Coronavirus test, the team had to fly to Kansas City and take on the reigning world champions on the same day. Considering the circumstances, New England competed well despite losing by two touchdowns in the end and a final score of 26-10.
Nevertheless, there is a lot the team can feel good about from the game — not the least of which that they made it out of the trip without any obvious new injuries (and apparently no new positive Covid-19 tests as well). With that said, let’s take a look at the lone player who did catch the eye at one point yesterday.
OT Jermaine Eluemunor: During warmups, the Patriots’ offensive line had Eluemunor at his usual spot at the starting right tackle. However, he ended up not playing a single snap during the game: shortly after kickoff and with sixth-round rookie Justin Herron taking his role in the lineup, the Patriots announced that the 25-year-old was questionable to enter the game because of a migraine he apparently had suffered at one point during or after warming up. He was one of three players on the game day roster to not play a snap, but the only one with an official medical reasoning.
What this means for the Patriots
Eluemunor does not have a reported history with migraines or head injuries, so the Patriots will keep a close eye on the situation but likely not have to be worried too much about their right tackle’s long-term availability. This is especially true considering that Justin Herron looked good in his absence, while fellow rookie Michael Onwenu also has shown that he can hold down the fort at right tackle if need be (Onwenu and Eluemunor were part of a minor rotation at the position in Weeks 1 and 2).
All in all, New England should therefore feel good about its injury situation coming out of a difficult road trip. While, yes, the team was forced to place running back Sony Michel (quad) and safety/special teamer Cody Davis (ribs) on injured reserve ahead of Monday’s game, it also did get Damien Harris and Gunner Olszewski back to bolster the depth at running back and wide receiver, respectively. Furthermore, center David Andrews is now only one game away from a potential return off of short-term IR.
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 Denver Broncos 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 Newton’s positive test.
Speaking of New England’s starting quarterback, reports that he remains asymptomatic paint an encouraging picture. If Newton continues to not develop any symptoms associated with Covid-19, and gets tested negative twice with 24 hours in between, he could rejoin his teammates this week.