The New England Patriots’ loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 8 was a painful one, figuratively and literally. Not only did the 31-17 defeat drop them to 2-6 on the year and kill the momentum they appeared have built with a win over Buffalo the previous week, the Patriots also suffered some high-profile injuries.
Let’s assess the damage after re-watching the game to find out what it might mean for the Patriots moving forward.
LB Ja’Whaun Bentley: Bentley appeared to tweak his hamstring early in the second quarter, and he left the game following a Keion White tackle for loss. The team captain and defensive signal caller made a trip to the blue medical tent and was initially announced as questionable to return. He later departed for the locker room and was ruled out at the half.
CB Myles Bryant: Bryant was injured on a 4th-and-1, remaining on the ground after making a tackle on a catch-and-run. He did manage to walk off under his own power, though, and was back on the field the next drive. He finished the day with 39 defensive snaps.
RG Sidy Sow: The Patriots’ final drive of the second quarter did not feature Sidy Sow; he was replaced by Atonio Mafi at right guard. While he did later return for a brief period, the rookie ended up playing only 29 of 53 snaps on the day. No injury was announced by the team.
QB Mac Jones: New England’s starting quarterback was slow to get up after throwing an interception in the late first half. He was back on the field for the next offensive snap, though, and ended the game with a 100 percent play-time share.
LG Cole Strange: Starting at left guard, Strange was suspiciously not in the lineup during the second drive of the third quarter: it was Atonio Mafi, with Sidy Sow back at right guard. Strange did remain on the sidelines, though, and returned after four snaps. He did not show any noticeable discomfort, meaning that his brief absence might have been conditioning-related.
WR DeVante Parker: Parker was slow to get up after absorbing a helmet-to-helmet hit in the late third period. While the play went unflagged, the veteran wideout was unable to finish the game: he departed with members of the team’s training staff, and was placed into concussion protocol.
WR Kendrick Bourne: The Patriots’ most productive pass catcher of the season went down after a short reception on the first play of the fourth quarter. Bourne gingerly walked off the field and into the blue medical tent, and was eventually ruled out after departing for the locker room. He was diagnosed with a torn ACL on Monday, ending his season.
OT Trent Brown: While he did play all 53 of the Patriots’ offensive snaps against Miami, Brown was clearly not at a 100 percent. He was spotted in the locker room after the game with a noticeable limp, presumably stemming from the knee and ankle issues that have plagued him heading into Week 8.
What this means for the Patriots
The Patriots already were one of the most banged-up teams in football heading into Week 8, and their situation did not get any better versus the Dolphins. The big loss is Kendrick Bourne, whose season is now over, but question marks also linger over Ja’Whaun Bentley, DeVante Parker and Trent Brown.
The four other players listed above, meanwhile, should be fine: Mac Jones and Myles Bryant both finished the game, while head coach Bill Belichick later confirmed that the team was planning to rotate its guards — an explanation why neither Cole Strange nor Sidy Sow went wire-to-wire.
The Patriots will be back on the practice fields on Wednesday to start the on-field portion of their preparation for the upcoming matchup with the Washington Commanders. We will get more clarity especially regarding Bentley and Brown that day, whereas Parker is likely to remain in concussion protocol. No definitive projection on his status can be made, though, meaning that he theoretically is still able to play Sunday.
The Patriots’ game against the Commanders at Gillette Stadium is set for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday.