The New England Patriots continued their on-field preparation for the upcoming Monday night game against the New York Jets on Friday, and their defense received a much-needed boost when it took the practice fields. Three defenders returned after being absent on Thursday: cornerback Stephon Gilmore as well as defensive tackles Lawrence Guy and Carl Davis.
The three defenders were among five who were not present for Thursday’s session, and 17 in total who were listed on the first injury report of the season. While Davis’ return from a concussion bolsters New England’s depth along the interior D-line — especially now that we know Beau Allen will be out for the remainder of the season — those of Gilmore and Guy are the most noteworthy given their importance as starters on the Patriots’ defense.
Gilmore first popped up on the practice report last week, when he suffered what was later revealed to be a minor knee injury during Thursday’s practice. Despite the nature of the ailment, the NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year was forced to sit out the Patriots’ Week 8 game in Buffalo. While his status for Monday remains up in the air for the time being, his return is a positive sign for Gilmore’s long-term availability.
Guy, meanwhile, left the contest in Buffalo because of a shoulder injury suffered in the second half and did not return before being a no-show on Thursday. After previously already dealing with an ankle issue as well, he listed on the practice report with three different ailments: shoulder, ankle, knee. Given his importance to New England’s defensive operation and struggles against the run, this was a potentially serious situation for the team.
Guy’s return — just like Gilmore’s — is therefore very good news for the Patriots, even if their eventual participation statuses will not be known until the latest injury report gets released later on Friday. Make sure to check Pats Pulpit for an update.