Veteran safety Adrian Phillips had to leave the New England Patriots’ seasoner opener against the Miami Dolphins due to a rib ailment, but it appears he may have dodged a bullet. According to a report by theScore’s Jordan Schultz, the team is “cautiously optimistic” about his injury status.
Phillips remained on the ground in the second quarter after having made a tackle on a short pass to wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. He eventually walked off the field under his own power, but did not return to the contest.
The 30-year-old departed for the locker room and was initially listed as questionable to come back to the game. He eventually was downgraded to “out” shortly after the half.
Before the injury, Phillips had been the field for 27 of 29 defensive snaps against the Dolphins. He registered three tackles, including one for a loss of yards. Immediately after his departure, the Patriots surrendered a 42-yard pass touchdown — a play that partially appears to have happened due to the rotation at safety caused by Phillips’ absence.
While it remains to be seen how quickly he can return to the field, this latest report paints a positive picture. It also echoes remarks made by fellow safety Kyle Dugger.
“I’m not 100 percent sure, but I think he’s gonna be all right,” Dugger said in the locker room after the game.
Phillips was not the only high-profile player to get dinged up during the Patriots’ 20-7 loss in Miami. Quarterback Mac Jones underwent post-game evaluation after dealing with back spasms, while tight end Jonnu Smith was spotted jogging off the field with a slight limp in the fourth quarter.
New England will travel to play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2. The first injury report leading up to that contest will be released on Wednesday afternoon.