FOXBORO — The first official injury and practice participation report for Week 4 provided some questions and a sobering dose of reality for the New England Patriots.
Although the Patriots had relatively strong attendance at Wednesday’s practice, several key participants were limited, along with two notable absences, as they prepare to take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Oct. 2 at Lambeau Field.
Here is Wednesday afternoon’s full report, along with its implications for this Week 4 matchup:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
QB Mac Jones - Ankle
DL Lawrence Guy - Shoulder
S Joshuah Bledsoe - Groin
OL Yodny Cajuste - Thumb
S Kyle Dugger - Knee
DL Davon Godchaux - Back
LB Raekwon McMillan - Thumb
WR Jakobi Meyers, Knee
CB Jalen Mills, Hamstring
S Adrian Phillips - Ribs
What it means for the Patriots:
As expected, Jones was not spotted for the media portion of Wednesday’s practice, leaving incumbent backup Brian Hoyer and rookie Bailey Zappe as the only two quarterbacks on the field. While an official announcement has yet to be made, the veteran backup now seems primed to temporarily take the reins as the Pats starter. While the 36-year-old’s best days on the field may be behind him, he has enough knowledge and experience to effectively run the Patriots offense, should Jones be sidelined. Having served as Jones’ primary backup for the past two seasons, Hoyer is also well-versed in the Pats’ starting quarterback’s tendencies. Therefore, he would be the logical choice to continue New England’s offensive game plan in Jones’s absence.
Jones was not the only non-participant, as defensive tackle Lawrence Guy continues to deal with a shoulder injury. Guy left the Patriots Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter and did not return to action. The 32-year-old has been a key cog in New England’s run defense, which has significantly improved from their performance in 2021. Containing Green Bay’s strong running game may prove to be a very difficult task without Guy in the lineup.
In the vein of encouraging news, wide receiver Jakobi Meyers and safety Kyle Dugger were present as limited participants after having missed Sunday’s matchup with the Ravens. Each was spotted during opening drills, as they hopefully look to return to action in Week 4. Jalen Mills, who also missed time against Baltimore with a hamstring injury, remained limited.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
G/T Elgton Jenkins - Knee
T Caleb Jones - Illness
CB Jaire Alexander - Groin
T David Bakhtiari - Knee
RB AJ Dillon - Knee
LB Jonathan Garvin - Hip
WR Allen Lazard - Ankle
TE Marcedes Lewis - Groin
WR Christian Watson - Hamstring
What it means for the Packers:
Green Bay’s efforts to protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers may be compromised if the health of offensive tackles David Bahktiari and Elgton Jenkins is in question. Though both were in the lineup in Tampa after missing most of the first two weeks with knee injuries, Bakhtiari was limited, while Jenkins did not participate. With Rodgers having been sacked eight times in three games, New England may attempt to exploit any potential weakness on the line to continue to trend and generate pressure.
Two of Rodgers’ most reliable offensive weapons, wide receiver Allen Lazard and running back A.J. Dillon, were also limited participants. Their respective status for the remainder of the week will be worth monitoring, their lack of ability may force Green Bay’s offense to become more one-dimensional for this upcoming contest.
Lastly, Green Bay’s top cornerback Jaire Alexander was forced to leave the team’s Week 3 showdown with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a groin injury. Alexander has helped Green Bay’s secondary to rank seventh in the league, allowing 189.3 yards per game through the air. If Alexander is unable to suit up, his snaps will be divided among Rasul Douglas and Kelsean Nixon, who will join starter Eric Stokes.
Kickoff between the Patriots and Packers is set for 4:25 p.m. ET.
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