The New England Patriots’ regular season finale against the Miami Dolphins was a struggle. Not only did the team lose with a final score of 33-24 to drop from the fifth to the sixth playoff seed in the AFC, it also saw multiple player exit the contest due to injury.
Let’s take a closer look at the game to find out who was dinged up and what it might mean in the grand scheme of things.
RB Rhamondre Stevenson: The rookie running back remained on the ground after his first touch of the day. Stevenson was hit hard by ex-Patriot Elandon Roberts on a short pass play, and was later deemed questionable to return due to a head injury. He did come back in the third quarter but touched the ball only four more times, gaining 34 yards.
OT Isaiah Wynn: Wynn left the game a short time after Stevenson, with his last play seeing him dive for a batted ball in the late first quarter. The former first-round draft pick did not appear to get injured on the play, but he was still announced as questionable to return due to an ankle issue. Wynn, who was listed with a hip injury heading into the game, did not come back after walking to the locker room; second-year man Justin Herron finished the game in his place at left tackle.
S Sean Davis: Davis’ first snap of the day would be his last one as well. The practice squad safety, who was elevated to the game-day roster before the contest, hurt his shoulder early in the second quarter while attempting a tackle on a run play. He did return to the sidelines after a brief trip to the locker room, but did not reenter the game.
RB Damien Harris: The Patriots’ lead running back was shaken up on a 4-yard carry in the second quarter, briefly exiting the game. Harris walked off under his own power, and missed two snaps before his return on the next drive.
DT Christian Barmore: New England’s second-round draft pick remained on the ground after Tua Tagovailoa scramble. Barmore was hit hard by fellow defender Joejuan Williams, hurting his knee in the process. He was helped off the field by members of the Patriots’ training staff, and later had to be carted to the locker room. With under two minutes left in the game, he obviously did not return.
What this means for the Patriots
With only five days between their game in Miami and the upcoming wild card playoff matchup with the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots are facing some injury questions. Not only were players like Dont’a Hightower or Kyle Dugger unable to participate in the contest, the five injuries listed above are also worth keeping a close eye on.
While Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris both returned to the contest after their respective injuries — a positive sign — the others did not come back.
Christian Barmore’s injury appeared to be the most serious after he had to be carted to the locker room. However, an MRI on Monday revealed that he suffered no major damage to his knee. His outlook for the game in Buffalo remains unclear, but that is still the best news the Patriots and their young defensive tackle could have hoped for.
There have been no such reports about Isaiah Wynn and Sean Davis. Given that he did return to the sideline, however, Davis should be good to go moving forward; he returned to the practice squad on Monday.
Wynn, meanwhile, would be a massive loss for New England. While shaky at times this season, the former first-round draft pick is still the team’s top option at left tackle. Should he miss any extended period of time, the Patriots might opt to either go with Justin Herron or to move Trent Brown to the left side and insert Michael Onwenu at right tackle.
The first injury report of the week, released on Tuesday afternoon, will give us more clarity about the situation and the Patriots’ injury status as a whole.