Nearly all of the New England Patriots players listed on this week’s injury report for Monday Night Football against the New York Jets are pass-catchers.
Quick – list all the active New England Patriots players who have caught at least one pass this season and whose names don’t appear on this week’s injury report against the New York Jets.
If you answered Jakobi Meyers, James White, Brandon Bolden, and Sony Michel, then you’re correct!
Out of the 13 players who have caught at least a single pass through the first six games of the 2019 season, only four of them still remain on the active roster for the Patriots and are completely healthy. Obviously the words “completely healthy” are subjective in a sport as brutal and unforgiving as professional football, but these four names at least are considered healthy per NFL injury-reporting rules and guidelines.
With all due respect to those four names, they’re not exactly the cream of the crop when it comes to NFL pass-catchers. Three of the four play running back, and the only wide receiver in the group (Meyers) is an undrafted rookie who has averaged less than two targets per game so far this year. Between all four of them, their combined stat-line on the season is 49 receptions on 62 targets for 475 yards and two touchdowns.
To say that the Patriots enter their primetime matchup against the division-rival Jets on Monday Night Football a bit hamstrung in terms of receiving talent is a gross understatement. Thankfully for New England, as banged-up as the Patriots are right now, the Jets are even worse off. New York has 15 players listed as either out, doubtful, or questionable for the game, as of Saturday’s injury report listed on the Patriots’ official team website.
While both teams will have to overcome injuries at a number of key positions to earn the victory at the Meadowlands on Monday night, the Patriots have to be crossing their fingers that several key contributors listed as questionable actually are able to suit up for their offense.
Phillip Dorsett (hamstring), Julian Edelman (chest), Gunner Olszewski (hamstring), and Rex Burkhead (foot) all got in limited practice participation this week. Edelman is obviously the biggest name here and the person most needed to try and play through the pain; it’s an encouraging sign that he managed to tough out appearances against the Bills, Redskins, and Giants in the subsequent weeks after first sustaining the injury Week 3 against these same Jets.
Dorsett’s potential return from a one-week absence could be huge as well, especially given that Josh Gordon has officially been ruled out for this contest with knee and ankle injuries. Dorsett was off to a fast and promising start this season through the first four games; if he’s anywhere near game-ready, his return would instantly upgrade the talent of this offense on the outside.
At tight end, New England luckily signed a pair of recent additions – Benjamin Watson and Eric Tomlinson – to the roster. Both players should immediately see snaps Monday night in the wake of both Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse being ruled out for this game, as Watson and Tomlinson now represent the only healthy tight ends left on the active roster.