When the Patriots released their first injury report of the week on Wednesday, it was one of the longest lists of players in recent memory. Not only were their 20 players reportedly dealing with injuries, but several were key starters the team will need heading into their first matchup with the Bills on Sunday.
The updated report released Thursday afternoon didn't change much from the day before, but reporters provided just a sliver of good news three days before the big game.
One glimmer of hope was the removal of Rhamondre Stevenson, who had been dealing with a hamstring injury during the week. He was the only player completely taken off the list, though, with the rest mainly remaining the same.
Rookie receiver Kayshon Boutte was a new addition, though, which doesn't bode well for his return to the field after being a healthy scratch for several weeks.
But the good news is that despite six players reportedly not participating in Thursday's practice, only three were absent, according to reporters. Those players were offensive lineman Riley Reiff, linebacker Josh Uche, and defensive end Keion White.
Although they didn't take to the field to practice, it was a sign they were moving in the right direction and could be trending to playing on Sunday. The Patriots will need all the help they can get, especially going against a team with Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs.
With two days left before that matchup, there's still time for more names to fall off the list. Since nearly half the roster is currently listed, it would certainly not be ideal if that's not what happens. But if the recent rumor is true that the Patriots' front office is hoping to tank the rest of the season, perhaps that won't happen.
The problem with that, among several other things, is that the Bills look like a beatable team. Even though the Patriots don't look to be in any position to actually win a game against a formidable opponent, the Giants just took the Bills to the limit last week, only losing in the final seconds of the game due to a missed DPI call by the referees.
Maybe that's being too optimistic given the circumstances New England has gotten themselves into, but it seems like a better mentality to have than believing everything is doom and gloom, even if it does appear to be that right now.