FOXBORO — The first official injury and practice participation report for Week 5 provided a bit more clarity, along with some additional questions for the New England Patriots at the quarterback position.
With coach Bill Belichick moving Wednesday's practice indoors to the Socios.com Field House for Wednesday’s practice, they listed a total of eleven players on the report as they prepare to take on the Detroit Lions on Sunday, Oct. 9 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.
Here is Wednesday afternoon’s full report, along with its implications for this Week 5 matchup:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
DL Lawrence Guy - Shoulder
QB Brian Hoyer - Concussion
DL DaMarcus Mitchell - Concussion
TE Jonnu Smith - Ankle
S Kyle Dugger - Knee
QB Mac Jones - Ankle
LB Raekwon McMillan - Thumb
WR Jakobi Meyers, Knee
CB Jalen Mills, Hamstring
S Adrian Phillips - Ribs
OT Isaiah Wynn - Hip
What it means for the Patriots:
Once again (and understandably so), all eyes were on the quarterback position as the Patriots took to the indoor practice field.
Incumbent starter Mac Jones was present, and listed as a limited participant. Despite Jones still tending to a high ankle sprain, the 24-year-old tossed a few passes, while looking noticeably more mobile than he did during his last appearance on the practice fields on Friday, Sept. 30. However, NFL Media reported that there remains a fair bit of instability in Jones’ ankle, evidenced by his continuing to move with a notable limp. As a result, Jones’ chances of playing on Sunday appear to remain remote, at best.
Veteran Brian Hoyer remains in concussion protocol and was not spotted during the media portion of practice. As expected, he was listed as a non-participant.
Defensive tackle Lawrence Guy remained absent from the field, after missing the entirety of New England’s previous week of practices, as well as their Week 4 matchup with the Packers. Green Bay’s potent rushing duo of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon combined to total 183 rushing yards through 33 handoffs altogether while facing a large amount of the Pats’ base defense. While some of the team’s run defense woes can be attributed to a lack of help from the linebackers at the second level, Guy’s absence clearly made them more vulnerable. In short, New England may continue to have difficulty in containing the run without Guy’s presence, especially against a potent Lions ground game led by running back Jamaal Williams.
Tight end Jonnu Smith also missed practice with a low ankle sprain, and is considered week-to-week. Considering the type of injury, as well as his status on Wednesday, Smith is unlikely to suit up in Week 5. As such, the Pats will rely on starter Hunter Henry, as well as hybrid receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey as options in the passing game in his absence. The team may also choose to elevate Matt Sokol from the practice squad, as well as include swing tackle Marcus Cannon as eligible in jumbo packages.
Lastly, rookie wide receiver Tyquan Thornton, was present at practice, indicating that he has been activated from injured reserve. The Baylor product, who began the season on IR due to a fractured clavicle, must now be activated within three weeks for him to make his pro debut. As Thornton has yet to join the active roster, he was not listed on Wedneady’s report.
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
LB Chris Board - Knee
C Evan Brown - Ankle
WR Quintez Cephus - Foot
WR DJ Chark - Ankle
DL John Cominsky - Wrist
TE T.J. Hockenson - Hip
C Frank Ragnow - Foot
WR Josh Reynolds - Ankle
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown - Ankle
RB D'Andre Swift - Shoulder / Ankle
G Kayode Awosika - Hamstring
T Taylor Decker - Knee
G Jonah Jackson - Finger
T Matt Nelson - Calf
K Austin Seibert - Right Groin
What it means for the Lions:
The Lions appear to be entering Week 5 just as banged up as the Patriots. Detroit’s injury bug appears to have bitten the hardest on the offensive side of the ball. Running back D’Andre Swift, tight end T.J. Hockenson and wideouts DJ Chark and Amon-Ra St. Brown were all non-participants. While Thursday’s report may shed additional light on which of the Lions’ offensive standouts may play against the Pats, Swift has been dealing with both shoulder and ankle injuries, making his playing status murky, at best.
Detroit's offensive line, which has played well to date, may also be without the services of All-Pro center Frank Ragnow (foot), as well as lineman Evan Brown (ankle). Starting left tackle Taylor Decker (knee) and starting left guard Jonah Jackson (finger) were limited participants on Wednesday, as well.
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