The New England Patriots held a comparatively light practice on Sunday morning, but the session still saw one of the team’s players leave with an apparent injury: tight end Jonnu Smith departed after getting hurt during a 1-on-1 period early in practice. He landed awkwardly during the low-speed drill, and spent time with the training staff before eventually leaving for the locker room.
While Smith getting injured was a scary moment during an otherwise uneventful session, he apparently dodged a bullet. According to a report by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, the 25-year-old suffered a low left ankle sprain that was not considered serious based on the initial diagnosis.
No timetable for a return is reportedly set just yet, but it would not be a surprise if New England decided to play it safe with joint practices and a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles coming up this week. The Patriots traveled to Philadelphia after Sunday’s session.
Smith, who joined the team on a four-year contract in free agency, is not the only starter-level tight end to suffer an injury so far training camp. Fellow offseason addition Hunter Henry missed the previous two practices as well as last Thursday’s preseason opener against the Washington Football Team due to a shoulder issue. Henry returned on Sunday, but was held out of drills after going through warmups.
Besides Smith and Henry, the Patriots also have Devin Asiasi, Matt LaCosse and Troy Fumagalli under contract at the tight end position. They released David Wells on Sunday, and sent Dalton Keene to season-ending injured reserve earlier this month.