Usually, when the playoffs roll around, each team is dealing with some injuries to key players that could affect the outcomes of games. Patriots fans will understand that due to Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski missing out on playoff games over the previous few years. However, Sunday looks to be the opposite case for both the Chargers and the Patriots. Both teams seem to be getting healthier heading into Divisional Sunday.
The Chargers have a relatively small list of players on the injury report. Melvin Gordon and Mike Pouncey are the only two players who did not participate in practice. These are very likely to be just precautionary measures, and both will see the field Sunday. Brandon Facyson, Derek Watt, and Kyle Wilson will all limited participants. Jahleel Addae, Hunter Henry, and Sam Tevi were also named on the list, although all three were labeled as full participants.
The key name there is Hunter Henry. The young tight end tore his ACL in the spring and has sat through the entire season. Getting him back could be a huge boost for Los Angeles. He certainly won’t be as effective as he was in previous seasons because of his lack of game time this year, but he still adds another element of planning for the Patriots.
New England is in a similar boat with injuries. They had full participation at practice, with only Dwayne Allen and Deatrich Wise labeled as limited participants. Devin McCourty, who suffered a concussion two weeks ago against the Jets, returned as a full participant. Cordarrelle Patterson is also back after missing week 17 with a knee injury.
By the time we reach Sunday, both teams should be at full strength, with stars abound and healthy on both sides of the field. There will be no built-in excuses for these healthy teams, so the best one will have to come out on top.