The New England Patriots enter week four of the 2019 NFL season with an injury report adding some important names. After having just three players listed as limited on their initial injury reports in week one and two, last week and this week’s injury list has ballooned. Last week saw seven players and another key contributor added to injured reserve.
This week has ten players on the injured list.
Week two saw starting left tackle and 2018 first round draft pick Isaiah Wynn leaving a dozen snaps into the game. A toe injury initially appeared to be week-to-week but instead the team chose to put Wynn on injured reserve. He can return in eight weeks but leaves a gaping hole at an extremely important position.
The offensive line has had a serious injury bug in New England. Center David Andrews is out for the season. Wynn is on IR. This week sees three offensive linemen on the injury report on Wednesday and Thursday.
Left tackle Marshall Newhouse missed both practices with an illness. The good news is that starting right tackle Marcus Cannon played in week three and was a full participant on Thursday. Starting left guard (and back-up at tackle) Joe Thuney was added to the injury list this week but was a full participant as well on Thursday. Both had shoulder injuries.
Once again there is a familiar face on the injury report listed as limited as free agent acquisition tight end Matt LaCosse is on the injury report with an ankle injury. LaCosse was expected to be a major contributor on offense but he sprained his ankle in the first preseason game and missed the rest of the preseason. With only second-year tight end Ryan Izzo on the roster, LaCosse has played just 41 snaps through three games.
Help does not appear on the way for the tight end position. Veteran Ben Watson can return next week after starting the season suspended for four weeks.
Certainly, the Patriots had more than a few major injuries to overcome heading into the season. On offense, first round draft pick wide receiver N’Keal Harry (injured reserve designated to return) and free agent wide receiver Cameron Meredith (PUP list) are out until October/November.
Another pair of rookies on the offensive line are out with guard Hjalte Froholdt–who was playing almost entire preseason games being force-fed snaps in an effort to get him up to NFL speed–injured his shoulder in the final preseason game and is out for the season. Rookie tackle Yodny Cajuste has been out all of the preseason with a quadriceps injury and is on the non-football injury (NFI) list. When and if he returns in 2019 is unknown.
The loss of starting center David Andrews is the biggest loss and leaves a gaping hole in the middle of the offensive line. He is on injured reserve and is out for the season due to blood clots in his lungs.
This week also saw running back Rex Burkhead added to the injury report with a foot injury. He was limited along with Julien Edelman (who missed the second half of the win over the Jets last week) with a chest injury and Ryan Izzo with a calf injury.
On defense, the Patriots lost young defensive backs Malik Gant and D’Angelo Ross to injury in the preseason both are on injured reserve and will fight for a roster spot next year after both opened eyes with impressive play at training camp. Special teams ace Brandon King tore his left quadriceps in the preseason and is out for the year.
On the defensive line, the Patriots lost young pass rushers Keionta Davis and Derek Rivers. Both players are out for the season and may have lost their last chance to stick in New England. With their injuries unknown, the possibility of either being released with an injury settlement remains.
In defense, the Patriots have three players on the injury report. Defensive end Michael Bennett was limited with a shoulder injury. A shoulder limited Dont’a Hightower on Wednesday and Thursday as well. Special teams star and safety Nate Ebner was limited with a groin injury.
Buffalo is 3-0 heading into the pivotal AFC East match-up. The Bills rested a number of veterans on Wednesday and 36-year old running back Frank Gore on Thursday.
On offense, back-up tight end Tyler Kroft and wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie missed practice on Thursday due to ankle injuries. On defense, back-up linebacker Corey Thompson was out with an ankle injury as well after having surgery this week.
The limited participants list on Thursday had a number of important players for the Bills.
Starting right guard Jon Feliciano returned to practice on a limited basis due to a neck injury. Starting wide receiver Zay Jones was limited with a shoulder and speedster Robert Foster slowed by a groin injury.
Dynamic rookie running back Devin Singletary, who is averaging 12.7 yards per rush through the first two games of the season, missed week three against Cincinnati but returned to practice on a limited basis on Thursday. If he can go against the Patriots, he gives the offense a huge boos.
On defense, starting slot cornerback Taron Johnson has been slowed by a hamstring injury and his availability on Sunday is in doubt. The Bills’ best secondary player, Tre’Davious White, is listed as limited in practice with a neck injury. White was a surprise addition to the injury list this week and is definitely needed to help slow the potent New England passing attack on Sunday.