David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

Brandon Lloyd still questionable


New England Patriots No. 1 wide receiver Brandon Lloyd is still listed as questionable on the injury report heading into tonight’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. Lloyd has been suffering from a thigh injury and was a limited participant during the past three practices from Wednesday to Friday.

However, we should all expect Lloyd to start tonight and, most likely, have a big game against right corner Cary Williams and the Ravens. Williams is a CB notorious for giving receivers a ton of space in coverage, and that’s something that will greatly help Lloyd out. He has been heavily targeted so far this year, and it looks like he and Tom Brady are extremely close to clicking, which will no doubt create chaos for opposing defenses.

At this point, it’s a situation to monitor but nothing more. Lloyd is a tough guy, and the injury doesn’t seem serious. Initially, it just seemed like the Pats were giving their star receiver some rest. We’ll see how things developed, but I’m thinking of Lloyd as being more “probable” than “questionable” at this point. He has a great matchup against Williams, and there another strategically important caveat here.

Free safety Ed Reed is a dominant player, and, if Lloyd dominates Williams early on, the Ravens will be forced to use Reed to bracket Lloyd. That will open things up for Rob Gronkowksi on the right side of the field, because he will be up against second-year corner Jimmy Smith, who is over-anxious in coverage an can be exposed. That will also lead to more matchups for Gronk on strong safety Bernard Pollard, who is clearly a below-average coverage safety.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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