With teams usually playing on only three days of rest, Thursday Night Football presents a special challenge for every NFL player. The New England Patriots had to tackle this challenge this week — and they mastered it: going up against the Atlanta Falcons, New England won 25-0. Moreover, the team was able to escape its short week virtually unharmed
With that said, let’s take a closer look at Thursday’s game to find out who was dinged up and what it might mean in the grand scheme of things.
CB Jalen Mills: Jalen Mills came down hard after trying to break up a pass in the late first quarter and appeared to have injured his left hip. He briefly left the game and missed one third down play before returning on the next series. Mills ended the game with 42 defensive snaps out of a possible 54.
CB J.C. Jackson: While Matthew Judon was sacking Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan late in the second quarter, the Patriots’ CB1 was blindsided by fellow defensive back Justin Bethel. Jackson took a quick visit to the blue medical tent, but he later emerged and re-entered the game. He did not play all of New England’s defensive snaps following his return — he was on the field for “only” 42 of them — but did make the most of his time on the field, catching his sixth interception of the year.
What this means for the Patriots
The Patriots can feel very good about their injury situation heading into their mini-bye. The minor ailments suffered by Jalen Mills and J.C. Jackson will likely not be of any long-term concern, while no other players appeared to get hurt against the Falcons. Accordingly, New England can fully focus on rest and recovery now.
It would therefore not be a surprise if the number of players on the next injury report will go down dramatically compared to the 13 listed ahead of Thursday. New England will start its on-field preparation for the upcoming game against the Tennessee Titans no later than Wednesday, with the first practice report coming out that day as well.
Don’t be surprised if it is significantly shorter than the recent injury reports — and if neither Mills nor Jackson are on it.