Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers put the Patriots in a tough spot for tonight’s matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Especially with a couple key players listed as questionable on the injury report released Wednesday. Dropping a second game in a row could mean something dire for the team and adjustments will need to be made going forward.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski (Thigh) appeared on the injury report Wednesday for the first time since week three when he suffered a groin injury. He was limited in practice from an injury that could have been caused from practice earlier in the week.
Rob Gronkowski added to the injury report with a thigh injury. Limited today, questionable for TNF
— Tyler Sullivan (@TylerSully) October 4, 2017
Linebacker Dont’a Hightower (Knee) made his return to the active roster last week and is still listed as questionable on the injury report this week. He was limited in practice all week, which could be a precaution. Hightower is a big part of the defense and an important part of the Patriot’s pass rush.
Two players are listed as out. Running back Rex Burkhead (Ribs) and defensive back Eric Rowe (Groin). Rowe returned to the active roster Sunday, but aggravated his groin and sat for the rest of the game.
The rest of the players listed as questionable for the New England Patriots are: linebacker Elandon Roberts (Ankle), offensive lineman Marcus Cannon (Ankle), cornerback Stephen Gilmore (Ankle), defensive back Brandon King (Hamstring), and wide receiver Matthew Slater (Hamstring). Offensive tackle Nate Solder did not practice on Tuesday but has no game designation.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers injury report has four names on it, all from their defense. Linebacker Kwon Alexander (Hamstring) has yet to return to the active roster since a hamstring injury sidelined him prior to week one. He is listed as out for tonight’s game.
Listed as doubtful is linebacker Lavonte David (Ankle), and safeties Keith Tandy (Hip) and T.J. Ward (Hip).
The Patriots’ offense with Tom Brady has been playing lights out against each team this season, putting up big numbers, but it has been the defense that has allowed too many points for Brady to win the games. Improvement on defense, coupled with better protection from the offensive line could help turn this team around.
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