The Patriots have a short week to prepare for the Colts as they welcome Indianapolis to Foxboro Thursday night for a primetime matchup. The short week makes the Patriots injury report more important than usual, as players who are placed on it have a shorter time to recover if they plan to play on Thursday night.
Prior to Thursday night games, teams are required to submit an injury report on Monday’s that projects the level of participation that injured players would have had if the team had actually practiced. In the Patriots report today, they noted that Rob Gronkowski would not have participated, and Adam Butler, Josh Gordon, Geneo Grissom, Jacob Hollister, Brandon King, Elandon Roberts, Eric Rowe, and Danny Shelton all would have been limited participants.
Much of this report is not particularly surprising. Eric Rowe has been out the previous two weeks with a groin injury, and naturally would be an LP as the team tries to get him back on the field. The same can be said for Jacob Hollister who is still trying to return to the field after ending up hospitalized with a chest injury after a hard fall last week. Adam Butler suffered a knee injury on Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, but walked off under his own power and seemed to be in good spirits. He did not return to the game, but that was due to the Patriots commanding lead at that point in the game. Josh Gordon is still listed with a hamstring issue, but he played on Sunday and did not appear hindered, which means that being on the injury report is likely more as a precaution.
Danny Shelton and Elandon Roberts are a little more surprising because they did not noticeably suffer any major injuries in Sunday’s game. However, that means that their injuries are likely not serious.
Butler’s injury may not be longterm, but there is a chance that he could miss Thursday’s game. He has played well so far this season, and the Patriots need all the depth they can get along the defensive line. Ensuring his long-term health should be the priority. Eric Rowe may be in a similar situation. The Patriots secondary managed to have a fantastic game against Miami without him. While his return would certainly help against an offense led by Andrew Luck, his longterm health is more important than bringing him back too early.
Jacob Hollister has had tough luck so far this season, missing every game so far with a variety of injuries. It would be surprising to see him make his season debut on Thursday; if his chest injury was significant enough to require a hospital trip, then he should use all the time he can to recover to ensure that he doesn’t do any more serious damage to himself.
The most notable name on the injury report is Rob Gronkowski. The star tight end was placed on the injury report late last week with an ankle injury. He also left the game in the third quarter on Sunday after tweaking his ankle again. The good thing is that so far there has been nothing mentioned by anyone inside or outside the organization of the injury being anything serious. However, if Gronk would not have practiced on Monday, then it means that the injury is more than just regular wear and tear. It is unlikely that he will see the field on Thursday. It is too early in the season and the stakes are not high enough to force Gronk back onto the field and risk injuring him further and having him miss an extended period of time.
The absence of both Gronk and Hollister will not be ideal for the Patriots offense. Dwayne Allen has not exactly been a revelation in the passing game so far this season. However, on a short week, the Patriots cannot take too many chances that could risk compounding their players’ current injuries.
Until next time – B$