Training camp may only be a few weeks old but injuries are already starting to cause issues for the defending AFC Champions.
The Patriots wide receiver corps is, to put it lightly, a mess right now with injuries. Kenny Britt and Malcolm Mitchell are both yet to return to full participation at practice as they recover from injuries. In addition, just last week the Patriots placed new addition Jordan Matthews on injured reserve after he went down with a hamstring issue during an offensive drill.
The Patriots offense is also currently hindered by various minor injuries along the offensive line, such as those to Marcus Cannon, and Luke Bowanko. In fact, first-round pick Isaiah Wynn took reps at left guard for the first time due to the string of injuries.
Most significantly for the Patriots offense might be the injury suffered by rookie running back Sony Michel. The Patriots second overall pick suffered what has been described as a “minor knee injury” that requires a procedure that will keep Michel out for most, if not all, of the preseason. While this may not directly limit his playing time in the regular season, his lack of reps with Tom Brady and the first offense will make it an uphill battle to become a contributing factor in the Patriots offense.
The Patriots defense has not been spared injuries either. Trey Flowers suffered a cut on his head last week that has limited him slightly, and defensive lineman Keionta Davis suffered a back injury that has him at day-to-day. Speedster defensive back Keion Crossen has also been sidelined with a back injury, seriously hurting his chances of scraping out a spot on the 53-man roster.
The bright side for the Patriots is that as of right now, none of these injuries appear to be catastrophic. The most significant blows were Michel and Matthews, yet Michel will still very likely be ready early in the season, and Matthews was replaced with Eric Decker. However, strings of injuries like this limit the ability of coaches to scout and select the best 53 players, and also hurt teams’ abilities to properly prepare for the regular season.
Until next time – B$