The New England Patriots started their regular season off on the wrong foot, losing to the Miami Dolphins with a final score of 20-7. Not much went right for the visiting Patriots on Sunday, and to make matters worse they suffered some high-profile injuries.
While it remains to be seen just how serious those issues are, let’s take a look at the players who were either announced as injured or caught our eye after re-watching the game.
G Cole Strange/OT Isaiah Wynn: The Patriots’ left guard and right tackle were suspiciously absent for several snaps on the day. Strange departed the contest late in the first quarter and was replaced by James Ferentz; Wynn briefly left in the third with Yodny Cajuste taking over. Apparently, however, there is not much to be concerned: both were part of a rotation at their respective spots in the lineup.
S Adrian Phillips: Late in the second quarter, starting safety Adrian Phillips remained on the ground after making a tackle on a short pass to wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. Phillips eventually walked off the field under his own power, but he did not return to the contest: the 30-year-old departed for the locker room and was eventually ruled out with a rib injury.
S Kyle Dugger: The Patriots’ safety group appeared to take another hit early in the third period, when Kyle Dugger was also unable to get up after making a tackle. His injury was less serious, even though there is no denying the impact: Dugger appeared to have been hit in his private area. He returned later that same quarter and was not impacted by the collision down the line.
TE Jonnu Smith: Following his third and final reception of the day, Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith showed a slight limp when jogging off the field. No injury was announced for the rest of the game — there were under six minutes left in the fourth quarter — and he did not participate in the team’s final three offensive snaps.
QB Mac Jones: The biggest injury coming out of the game was not announced during the contest. Starting quarterback Mac Jones apparently suffered a back injury during the contest, undergoing X-rays afterwards. The results reportedly came back negative, but Jones will undergo further evaluation in Foxborough. He was sacked twice on the day and also drew a roughing the passer penalty in the fourth period; he did not miss any playing time, though.
What this means for the Patriots
Obviously all eyes are on Mac Jones’ status. He is the most important player on the Patriots’ roster, and him suffering any sort of injury — regardless of its severity — is bad news. Him missing any time because of it, meanwhile, would be catastrophic.
Head coach Bill Belichick did not give any update on his status on Monday morning.
Jones is the biggest but not the only injury concern for the Patriots, though. Phillips’ injury looked potentially serious despite him walking off by himself, while Smith’s status is one worth keeping a close eye on as well.
The Patriots will return to the practice fields on Wednesday, starting their preparation for the upcoming Week 2 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Later that same day, they will release their first injury report of the week.