Now that linebacker Mike Rivera has returned to practice after missing two sessions with an ankle injury, the New England Patriots were not missing anyone in today’s final practice heading into Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Pats look poised for an easy win, but just because nobody missed practice doesn’t mean nobody will be out against Jacksonville.
The Patriots are expected to rest a few key players to get them as healthy as possible heading into the playoffs. Once such player is star tight end Rob Gronkowski, who has practiced everyday this week since finally practicing again last Friday (broken arm). But according to the Boston Globe and other outlets, Gronk will not be playing Sunday in order to receive more rest. However, he is expected to play in the final regular season game against the Miami Dolphins.
Brandon Spikes was held out of the first series of the game against the San Francisco 49ers due to an injury, and several people have speculated that he could be held out of Sunday’s game as well. Players on the offensive line could use the rest, as Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, and Sebastian Vollmer have been battling injuries all season. Vollmer’s health is especially key, since there is much more depth on the inside than there is at the tackle position. When healthy, Vollmer has been the best right tackle in the league this season. When not healthy, he has been beat quickly by speedy edge rushers such as Cameron Wake.
The Patriots will release their official injury report later today.
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