As the decimated New England Patriots begin their preparations for this weeks’ contest in Miami, things haven’t gotten much better for them, on the injury front.
The positives are Marcus Cannon, Alfonzo Dennard, and Brandon Bolden all returned to practice. All three of these players are extremely important (Bolden not as much as the other two) to the success of the Patriots, so having them back on the practice field is definitely a good sign.
However wide receiver Aaron Dobson remained absent, and this “minor” foot injury of his, may be a little more serious than we initially expected. Dobson’s appeared to have taken off a few weeks ago against Pittsburgh, but after injury his foot, he has been confined the sideline, which is never good for a rookie wideout. And the most troubling news of the day, comes in the form of left tackle Nate Solder missing practice due to a concussion. Under normal circumstances this probably wouldn’t be that bad, especially given that Solder played throughout the entire game last Sunday. But as Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald notes, this is the third concussion that he has suffered in the last three years. Head injuries are very tricky, and when a player sustains one in consecutive years like Solder has, his playing situation can become dicey.
Hopefully Solder will be cleared to play this week, because if the Patriots can beat the Dolphins down in Florida, they will have clinched the AFC East yet again. Obviously there are bigger goals in New England, but winning their division is step one, which opens the door to achieving greater things.