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Patriots starters Jonnu Smith, Jalen Mills downgraded to out for Week 18 against Bills

Both veterans had been listed as questionable on the final injury report.

NFL: New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have downgraded tight end Jonnu Smith and cornerback Jalen Mills to out in advance of Sunday’s finale versus the Buffalo Bills.

Both veterans had been listed among five questionable on the final injury report of Week 18.

Smith, 27, entered the NFL’s concussion protocol following New England’s Christmas Eve loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and missed New Year’s Day’s win over the Miami Dolphins. On the regular season, the 2017 Tennessee Titans third-round draft choice out of Florida International has caught 27 passes for 245 yards. Smith has appeared in 14 games, including eight starts, while logging 423 offensive snaps. He was a limited participant in the team’s last two practices.

Mills, 28, was last active on Thanksgiving Day against the Minnesota Vikings due to a lingering groin injury that has held him to 10 starts in the secondary this campaign. He stands with 31 tackles and a pair of interceptions over the course of 469 defensive snaps. A fellow 2021 signing, the LSU product and Super Bowl LII champion landed in the league with the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round of the 2016 draft. Mills had been limited throughout Buffalo preparations.

Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, cornerback Jonathan Jones and rookie special-teamer Brenden Schooler remain questionable to play Sunday at Highmark Stadium.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET.