The New England Patriots are getting some of their injured players back on the mend, and it seems like those guys are ready to play in Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and get their preseason debuts in. There was one new, notable absence yesterday in middle linebacker Brandon Spikes, and we have no idea why Spikes is out. Hopefully he hasn’t sustained a significant injury, as injuries have been a problem for Spikes during his three NFL seasons. In fact, those injuries prevented him from showing his ability and supreme run-stopping over the course of an entire season, prior to his 15 games played in 2012.
Jamie Collins has been making noise all training camp, and the Patriots first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft has been making play after play and forcing turnover after turnover. Collins is a monster, and he made the most of his added reps with Spikes out.
Mark Harrison, Rob Gronkowski, Jermaine Cunningham, and Armond Armstead were all absent, and none of those four absences are a surprise. Cunningham needs to get healthy, because I’ve long considered him a “veteran” worth cutting. Armstead was finally seen watching practice, and hopefully the pass rushing defensive tackle can get on the field soon and make an impact. I expect him to make the roster if he is ready to play in Week 1.
Potential starting right guard Marcus Cannon was absent at practice again, but he was able to fully dress out and looks ready to participate in the preseason.