Patriots/Dolphins Round 1: What are the most notable injuries?

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 09: Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots rushes during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 09: Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots rushes during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images) /

As the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins get ready to do battle this weekend, here are the most notable player injuries for both teams.

Two old AFC East rivals will again go to work against one another this Sunday afternoon when the New England Patriots fly south to play the Miami Dolphins.

The Patriots are 1-0 and the Dolphins are 0-1 to start the season, and the point-spread for this contest in favor of the road team is bordering on historic. Yet as anyone knows who witnessed the Miami Miracle last season, anything can happen when the Pats and Fins go head-to-head.

The Dolphins actually lead the all-time series between these familiar foes by a margin of 55-52. Should the Patriots avenge last year’s surprise loss in Miami and then take care of business against the Dolphins again at home in the final week of the season, they would be in the unique position to pull even in the series come 2020… and perhaps even take their first lead in the series since 1967, which was only the second season these two teams played.

The Patriots might not get a better chance to put those achievements in motion than this year.

New England is once again loaded both offensively and defensively, and is widely regarded as the current Super Bowl 54 favorite at this early stage of the season. Miami – who could become the first NFL team in history to play in their home stadium should they make it all the way to Hard Rock come February – is at the opposite end of the spectrum after an opening week 59-10 thrashing that left many observers wondering if the Fins might be one of the worst NFL teams ever.

As always, injuries stand to play a big part in the outcome of Sunday’s football game. Per the official injury report submitted by both teams after Friday’s practice, the Patriots have three players listed as battling various ailments, whereas the Dolphins currently have six names on their list.

For New England, the biggest name is without a doubt starting right tackle Marcus Cannon.

Cannon left the game against Pittsburgh late in the fourth quarter with what looked like a fairly significant shoulder injury. Thankfully, reports have been optimistic about Cannon’s prognosis, and it doesn’t appear likely that he’ll miss major time. He’s currently listed as questionable for Sunday’s game after getting in limited practice participation this week.

Joining him with “questionable” designations are running back Brandon Bolden (hamstring) and Matt LaCosse (ankle).

Bolden played sparingly against the Steelers, making most of his contributions on special teams. If he can’t go on Sunday it’s not the end of the world for the Pats, who would probably prefer to rest him and make sure he’s good to go for Week 3 against the Jets.

LaCosse’s injury is nothing new. The ex-Denver Broncos tight end was in line to receive snaps as the team’s starting tight end with Benjamin Watson suspended the first four games of the regular season, but an ankle injury sustained in the preseason derailed that plan. LaCosse wasn’t needed against the Steelers; he probably isn’t needed against the Dolphins either.

For Miami, they have four players listed as “questionable” against New England: linebacker Trent Harris (foot), defensive end Charles Harris (wrist), safety Bobby McCain (shoulder), and center Daniel Kilgore (shoulder). Additionally, safety Reshad Jones (ankle) and receiver Albert Wilson (hip/calf) have already both been ruled “out” for Sunday’s matchup.

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It’s bad news across the board for the Dolphins, who frankly don’t have enough existing talent on their roster to sustain these kinds of personnel losses this early in the season… particularly against a quality opponent like the Patriots.

The loss of Jones and potentially McCain in the back end of the secondary looms large, given that Brady just torched a much better passing defense in the Steelers one week ago. He could have an absolute field day against an undermanned Dolphins D.