As the Patriots prepare for another season-testing game against the Raiders this weekend, they just released their final injury report filled with more bad news than could be imagined.
Besides desperately needing a win on Sunday to get the season back on track, and in an attempt to prove they don't need to completely blow the team up, they announced that seven players would not be making the trip to Las Vegas, including key pieces of the offense that they can't afford to lose.
Some names remain on the list that have been for most of the season, but others were added this week as they suffered injuries in the game against the Cowboys last weekend.
The most significant losses will undoubtedly be breakout rookie receiver Demario Douglas, who is out with a concussion, offensive lineman Riley Reiff, who was one of the more consistent parts of the line last week, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Cole Strange.
Although guys like Smith-Schuster and Strange haven't been the most reliable players on the field so far this year, losing any pieces of the offense is a potentially disastrous scenario right now. Mac Jones hopes to demonstrate he can overcome the two worst losses of his career and will need as much help as possible.
Losing two key players from the offensive line is an absolute gut punch, and the absence of two receivers, especially Douglas, certainly doesn't help the situation either.
To make matters worse, the Patriots also have a lengthy list of players listed as questionable for Sunday's matchup. Two names are players who are available to be elevated to the 53-man roster after coming back from IR/PUP lists: Trey Flowers and Tyquan Thornton, but if that happens it is not yet known.
The rest of the list, which includes Christian Barmore, Trent Brown, Kyle Dugger, Davon Godchaux, Jonathan Jones, Mike Onwenu, Josh Uche, and Shaun Wade, are all essential parts of the team that they cannot afford to lose.
The hope is that most will be healthy enough to be active for the game, especially since it is a far more critical matchup than initially anticipated.