One of the main goals for the New England Patriots heading into their bye is getting some rest after having played a game in nine straight weeks. The heavy workload, after all, has left several players dealing with injuries or other ailments.
Needless to say that they are the ones benefitting the most from the bye: they can enjoy some much-needed time away from the grind that is practice and game day, and get themselves in the best possible shape for New England’s stretch run. Let’s take a closer look at them to find out what they are currently dealing with and analyze their outlook.
(Disclaimer: Everybody is dinged up a bit at this point in the season but instead of listing 50-plus players we will only focus on those on the active roster and with a clear injury status)
C David Andrews: The team captain sustained a head injury in Week 7 that kept him out the last two games. He did return to practice on Wednesday, meaning that he has been cleared from concussion protocol, but additional rest before his return next Sunday is certainly not a bad thing.
DT Christian Barmore: New England’s win over the Indianapolis Colts was the third straight game Barmore missed because of a knee injury. He is back at practice since last week, but the team is apparently playing it safe. The bye helps them follow their timeline and to possibly have Barmore back in the lineup by Week 11.
OT Trent Brown: Brown was a no-show on Wednesday after appearing to be a bit under the weather speaking with the media on Tuesday. The rest should help him get back to full speed in time to start the preparation for the upcoming game against the New York Jets.
S Kyle Dugger: Listed as questionable with an ankle injury last week, Dugger ended up playing 43 of 62 defensive snaps (69%) versus the Colts. The injury is behind him, but the weekend off should still help him get back close to 100 percent.
DT Davon Godchaux: Godchaux was a no-show during Wednesday’s practice for undisclosed reasons. The veteran defensive tackle had been dealing with a back injury earlier in the year, but regardless of the reason behind his absence it comes at a comparatively unproblematic time.
RB Damien Harris: After missing time earlier in the year with a hamstring issue, Harris was out in Week 9 because of an illness. He was at practice on Wednesday and appears to be trending in the right direction.
CB Jack Jones: Jones also was listed as questionable with an illness ahead of last week’s game, but he eventually ended up taking the field and playing 40 defensive snaps (65%). It appears he already has put the issue behind.
WR DeVante Parker: One of three players not spotted on Wednesday alongside the aforementioned Trent Brown and Davon Godchaux, Parker has been out since suffering a knee injury in Week 8. The issue is believed to be a relatively minor one, but the additional rest he can get during the bye can only help get him back onto the field sooner rather than later.
TE Jonnu Smith: Smith was the lone player seemingly getting shaken up against the Colts, but he did finish the game and was on the field on Wednesday. Whatever ailment he may or may not have suffered does not look like a major problem heading into the bye.
RB Pierre Strong Jr.: A hamstring injury limited the fourth-round rookie last week, even though he ended up playing versus Indianapolis. It appears the issue will not bother Strong Jr. moving forward, especially with a few off-days between now and the next practice.
LB Josh Uche: Uche has dealt with a hamstring issue since Week 6 and was questionable against the Colts. However, not only did he play but he also registered a career-high three sacks in the game. Bye or not, he’s fine.
DE Deatrich Wise Jr.: The team captain dealt with an ankle injury before the game versus Indianapolis, but just like Josh Uche did not appear to be bothered by the issue. He registered half a sack while playing 53 snaps between defense and special teams.
Besides the players listed here, the Patriots also have several on injury lists. Quarterback Brian Hoyer and running back Ty Montgomery are already eligible to return off injured reserve, with rookie offensive tackle Andrew Stueber as well. So far, however, they have not been spotted back at practice.
Offensive linemen Marcus Cannon and Chasen Hines as well as practice squad defensive lineman LaBryan Ray will still have to spend additional time on their respective IR lists. Special teamer Cody Davis would be in the same boat, but he will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery on his knee.
Besides Davis, however, the Patriots are not dealing with any concerning injuries at the moment. Nonetheless, the bye works of the players listed above and the entire team before its return to the practice fields next week.