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Patriots-Saints Week Three Injury Report: First Edition — Judon, Brown Among Notable Listees

The Pats list four notables on Wednesday’s report, compared to eight players included by the New Orleans Saints.

The first practice participation and injury report of Week Three of the 2021 NFL season provided both questions and answers for the New England Patriots, as they prepare to take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

While each member of New England’s 53-man roster was visible during warmups, the Pats did have one high-profile non-participant. Linebacker Matt Judon did not participate in practice, tending to a knee injury. Offensive lineman Trent Brown was back on the field, but limited in his participation. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who missed Sunday’s matchup with the New York Jets (throat) was a full participant.

Prior to examining Wednesday's report, it should be noted that the Pats had two new faces on their practice squad in attendance for the afternoon session. In addition to offensive lineman Drake Jackson (wearing no. 61) who was signed by the team on Monday, fellow offensive lineman Jake Eldrenkamp was signed to the Pats’ practice squad on Wednesday, as first reported by NESN’s Doug Kyed. The 27-year-old, who had been signed to a futures contract with New England in 2019, was in Foxboro on Tuesday for a visit. He was present at practice, wearing number 62. Practice squad lineman Alex Redmond was not spotted at practice.

Here is the complete report:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE:

OLB Matt Judon (knee)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION:

OT Trent Brown (calf)

RB Damien Harris (finger)

FULL PARTICIPATION:

OLB Kyle Van Noy (throat)

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE:

C Erik McCoy, Calf

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LIMITED PARTICIPATION;

DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson (Knee)

CB Marshon Lattimore (Hand)

G Calvin Throckmorten (Knee)

LB Pete Werner (Hamstring)

DB P.J. Williams (Back)

DE Payton Turner (Elbow)

FULL PARTICIPATION:

DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (Calf)

What to Do Without Judon?

While Judon was a force with which to be reckoned on Sunday versus the Jets, he was visibly limping at times, and seemed to be playing through some pain. As such, it was not surprising that he was listed on Wednesday’s injury report. At present, the hope would be that the Patriots are taking the proper precautions, and that Judon’s absence is more related to rest and maintenance. However, should he remain absent from the practice field, Judon’s knee could be a concern heading into Sunday’s matchup with the Saints.

At his best, Judon can keep runs from reaching the corner on early downs. He can also rush the quarterback in passing situations; two areas in which the Patriots struggled last year. He can also create favorable matchups from off-the-ball snaps, as well. These skills will be vital to helping the Patriots defense in attempting to contain a high-powered, dual-threat Saints’ offense, led by quarterback Jameis Winston, running back Alvin Kamara, and potential x-factor Taysom Hill. In his potential absence, Judon’s snaps would likely be taken by fellow linebacker Josh Uche, who possesses both the speed and positional savvy to take on the greater role within the Pats defense. Chase Winovich, Harvey Langi and rookie Ronnie Perkins could see some time there, as well.

Brown Closer to a Return?

Following his absence from Sunday’s game against the Jets, right tackle Trent Brown’s return to practice on Wednesday bodes well for his ability to play on Sunday. Of course, it should be noted that Brown was limited in his practice participation. However, his presence on the field on Wednesday [at least] keeps the door open to his being in the lineup for Week Three. With Brown out of the lineup, the platoon of lineman Yasir Durant and Justin Herron had its share of struggles in both run and pass protection.

Harris Also Limited

Running back Damien Harris was also a limited participant on Wednesday with an injury to his finger. Harris has been the Patriots' feature back through the first two games of the season, gaining 162 yards with one touchdown. The Pats running back corps also features James White, J.J. Taylor, Brandon Bolden and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson.