The New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys have released their final injury and practice participation reports ahead of their Week Six showdown in Foxboro.
The Pats and Cowboys will face off this Sunday, October 17 at 4:25pm at Gillette Stadium.
Here is Friday afternoon’s full report, along with its implications for this Week Six matchup:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2-3)
G Shaq Mason, Abdomen (DNP)
CB Shaun Wade, Concussion (DNP)
No Players Listed.
K Nick Folk, Left Knee (LP)
RB Damien Harris, Ribs (LP)
OL Justin Herron, Abdomen (LP)
CB Jonathan Jones, Ankle (LP)
DB Jalen Mills, Hamstring (LP)
LB Ronnie Perkins, Ankle (LP)
RB J.J. Taylor, Groin (LP)
LB Kyle Van Noy, Groin (LP)
DALLAS COWBOYS (4-1)
DE Dorance Armstrong, Ankle (DNP)
No Players Listed.
CB Trevon Diggs, Ankle (LP)
RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ribs (LP)
DE Randy Gregory, Knee (LP)
S Damontae Kazee, Hip (LP)
T Tyron Smith, Neck (DNP)
S Donavan Wilson, Groin (LP)
What It Means: Patriots
For the second consecutive week, starting right guard Shaq Mason will be out of action when the Pats take the field. Despite being a limited participant in Thursday’s practice, Mason did not participate in Friday’s session. As a result of his absence, the Pats are likely to give the starting nod to Ted Karras, who performed very well against the Houston Texans last week. Per Pro Football Focus, the veteran lineman posted an 87.0 pass blocking grade in Week Five, fifth best among all Guards and also a new personal career high. Karras allowed zero types of pressures across 33 pass blocking snaps on Sunday, and should once again be an adequate replacement for Mason.
While left guard Michael Onwenu has been activated from COVID-19/Reserve, and is fully-expected to play on Sunday, word is still awaited on the status of left tackle Isaiah Wynn, who apparently remains on the list. Wynn is unlikely to be active on Sunday, meaning that swing tackle Juston Herron would get the start at left tackle, if healthy. It is important to note that Herron missed Thursday’s practice with an abdomen injury, though he was a limited participant on Friday. If Herron is healthy enough to start, expect him to fill the left tackle position, alongside Onwenu (left guard), David Andrews (center), Karras (right guard) and Yodny Cajuste (right tackle), who performed well at the position on Sunday, in the absence of Trent Brown, who remains on injured reserve with a calf injury.
Cornerback Jalen Mills is officially listed as ‘questionable,’ as he continues to deal with a hamstring injury. Mills was a limited participant in practice this week, after missing New England’s Week Five matchup with the Texans. He had been the team’s primary option as their starting second cornerback, thus a key factor in their pass defense. Through the first four games, Mills had amassed 12 total tackles (nine of which were solo tackles) and one pass defended. In his absence, cornerback Joejuan Williams got the start. The Vanderbilt product struggled in the role, ending up on the backside of the Texans’ flea flicker from Davis Mills to Chris Conley for the 37-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Williams has yet to emerge as a match with New England’s press coverage schemes. On Sunday, the Pats will be facing a potent Cowboys offense with numerous options at wide receiver, as well as at tight end. As a result, the Patriots hope that Mills will return to the lineup. Otherwise, they may continue to have difficulty at the position.
Running back J.J. Taylor is a new addition to Friday’s injury report, listed with a groin injury. He is officially listed as ‘questionable’ for Week Six. It is unclear as to whether Taylor suffered the injury during practice on Thursday. It should be noted that the University of Arizona product was inactive for New England in Week Five against the Texans. However, that was presumed to be the result of some recent issues with ball security, rather than a physical ailment. With running back Damien Harris also ‘questionable’ for Sunday with a rib injury, the Pats face the prospect of entering Sunday’s matchup with only Rhamondre Stevenson and Brandon Bolden as fully-healthy options at the position. Also, the Pats do not currently have a running back on their practice squad.
What It Means: Cowboys
Despite having missed the previous two days of practice, Cowboys’ cornerback Trevon Diggs was back on the field for practice on Friday. Albeit in a limited role, Diggs’ return bodes well for his status in Week Six. Earlier on Friday, team owner Jerry Jones had declared that the talented corner would ‘be ready’ for Sunday’s matchup. However, the team has officially listed him as ‘questionable’ and declared that this playing status would be a ‘game time’ decision. At present, the smart money would be placed on Diggs suiting up for Sunday’s game at Gillette Stadium.
Running back Ezekiel Elliot was once again limited in his practice participation on Friday, and is officially ‘questionable’ for Week Six. While Elliott is expected to play on Sunday, his productivity may be compromised as a result of his rib injury. Still, the Cowboys are more than formidable on the ground, and may look to provide running back Tony Pollard with some additional carries.
Though tackle Tyron Smith is listed as ‘questionable,’ Cowboys' head coach Mike McCarthy has indicated that the offensive lineman has more positives than negatives related to his neck injury. Smith did not participate in practice on Friday, but may yet suit up for Sunday against the Patriots.