New England Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard has been limited recently with an unknown injury, and he was reportedly seen on a stationary bike at one practice. According to a source close to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, Alfonzo Dennard is suffering from a minor injury that hasn’t been specified, and the Patriots are merely resting him as a precaution. Howe writes that Dennard was held out of team drills during the last three practices, and Howe wonders if the Patriots are doing this in order to give other corners some time in case Dennard is suspended. The fact that Devin McCourty moved to corner at one point in camp backs up that line of thinking, and players like Justin Green have certainly benefited from the added reps.
Howe writes that the Patriots are not keeping Dennard out of team drills because of his arrest, and he refers to this line of thinking as a “conspiracy theory”. The injury that Dennard must be suffering from must be very minor, because Howe adds that Dennard does not have any visible signs of injury, and those would have been noted by other beat writers as well.
Dennard had some minor injuries as a rookie (mainly the hamstring), but he has never been anything resembling an injury-prone player. This is a minor issue, and holding out Dennard from team drills looks like a win-win. He’s already familiar with working with the defense and most of the players in the secondary, and it is best to give the younger guys reps. More importantly, the Patriots need to prepare for the potential suspension of their key CB by giving those younger guys more time, and giving McCourty and Kyle Arrington reps at less comfortable positions (McCourty stated that it is even difficult to flip-flop between safety and corner). Another benefit? Dennard could use the rest and doesn’t need to play on an injury (no matter how minor) if he doesn’t have to and if it doesn’t benefit the team. In training camp with a pending suspension, the best benefit is to rest him and play the other guys to see how they can cope.