The New England Patriots will miss yet another member of their starting defense against the New York Jets in Week 8. After already ruling out defensive tackle Christian Barmore due to a knee issue, safety Kyle Dugger will also not participate in the contest.
The third-year defensive back was downgraded to out on Saturday. Dugger was originally listed as questionable to play against the Jets after missing the first two practices of the week with an ankle injury. He returned on Friday in a limited capacity but is apparently not yet able to return to game action.
Dugger, 26, suffered the injury in the Patriots’ Monday night loss to the Chicago Bears. The former second-round draft pick was rolled up on while trying to make a tackle on a run play. He left the game, headed for the medical tent, and later limped to the locker room. The Patriots originally announced him as questionable to return, but he never reentered the contest.
With Dugger out, the Patriots will rely on Jabrill Peppers to take the field alongside Devin McCourty and Adrian Phillips in three-safety packages. Additionally, they might opt to activate Joshuah Bledsoe — a regular healthy scratch — to their game-day squad as depth.
Dugger is now the third player ruled out by the Patriots for the game in New York. The aforementioned Barmore as well as starting center David Andrews will also not participate in the contest.
Six players, meanwhile, are listed as questionable to play in the game: wide receiver Nelson Agholor (hamstring), offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (shoulder), linebackers Anfernee Jennings (calf) and Josh Uche (hamstring), and defensive backs Jonathan Jones (ankle) and Adrian Phillips (shoulder).
The Patriots’ game at East Rutherford’s MetLife Stadium is scheduled for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday.