New England Patriots: Breaking down the injury report for Week 2
We break down the New England Patriots’ injury report heading into Week 2
The New England Patriots could be without starting linebacker Dont’a Hightower for their Week 2 bout versus the New Orleans Saints.
Nine players were listed on the team’s Week 2 injury report, courtesy of the Patriots website.
Wide receivers Danny Amendola (concussion/knee) and Matthew Slater (hamstring) did not participate in practice, along with the aforementioned Hightower (knee).
Those who were listed as limited include tackles Marcus Cannon (ankle) and Cameron Fleming (ankle), as well as defensive lineman Adam Butler (knee), defensive tackle Vincent Valentine (knee), safety Devin McCourty (groin), and defensive back Nate Ebner (shoulder).
Hightower suffered a knee injury during last Thursday’s opener and did not return. If he doesn’t dress for Sunday’s game, New England could rely on linebacker Kyle Van Noy to fill his role. If so, safety Jordan Richards, who aligned as a linebacker numerous times last week, would likely take over for Van Noy on the weak side.
NESN’s Doug Kyed noted that rookie linebacker Harvey Langi could also see more playing time with Hightower on the sideline:
"“Linebacker Harvey Langi (concussion) has been removed from the injury report. He could start in place of Hightower on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.”"
Like Hightower, Danny Amendola exited last Thursday’s opener after suffering a concussion. On the injury report, the 31-year old pass catcher was also listed with a knee ailment.
Without Amendola, New England would enter Week 2 with only three wide receivers, Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, and recently acquired speedster Phillip Dorsett. Not including special teams ace Matthew Slater, who missed practice due to a hamstring injury.
Filling Amendola’s void could be a challenge for the Patriots. Last week, he collected six catches for 100 yards despite exiting the game early. With Julian Edelman out for the year, having Amendola on the field is crucial for the success of New England’s offense.
Given how highly praised the team’s wide receiver corps was entering training camp, it’s frustrating to see the group so widdled down. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots worked out wide receivers Daniel Braverman, Bryan Walters, and Tevaun Smith during the week.
As for the other players named on the injury report, more clarification on their Week 2 statuses has yet to come.
Next: Patriots drop in Week 1 NFL Power Rankings
McCourty (LP), Butler (LP), and Cannon (LP) should be active for Sunday, while Slater (DNP) likely won’t. In addition, Ebner (LP), Valentine (LP), and Fleming (LP) all could return to action after being inactive for Week 1.