Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE

New England Patriots missing Chandler Jones again


For the third straight practice this week, Rob Gronkowski, Chandler Jones, and Logan Mankins haven not participated at all, which pretty much rules out Jones for Sunday’s clash against the Miami Dolphins. With Jermaine Cunningham out due to a suspension, this puts pressure on veteran Trevor Scott to further increase his role and do well as a starter against Miami.

Scott has been a good pass rusher at points in his career with the Oakland Raiders, and he stepped up in a big way as a situation rusher when Jones went down two weeks ago. Jake Long isn’t what he used to be, but the Dolphins left tackle is still a solid player and will force
Scott to play like he did with Oakland.

Rob Gronkowski is obviously going to be out this week, and I hope he doesn’t try to return next week against the Houston Texans. As ironic as that is to say, he would be rushing from that broken forearm far too early. Gronk will most likely return in Week 16, but it would be great if he had a miraculous full recovery in time for the game against the San Francisco 49ers (or the Texans).

Left guard Logan Mankins has a very low chance of playing against the Dolphins, so we’ll be seeing Donald Thomas lining up as the starter once again. He has been excellent this season and has proven that he is a quality starter in this league. The Patriots are lucky to have him as a backup.

The great news is that Mark Zusevics has returned from a sickness that kept him out of Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practice, and he will be the emergency No. 4 tackle. Sebastian Vollmer did return to practice yesterday, but it’s still good to see that Zusevics is on the mend.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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Tags: Chandler Jones Logan Mankins Mark Zusevics New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski