FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Three players who've been limited in practices this past week won't suit up against the Redskins in Washington, D.C. Sunday.
As the Patriots' bus convoy left Gillette Stadium for T.F. Green Airport Saturday afternoon, the team announced that RB Rex Burkhead (foot), safety Patrick Chung (heel), and safety/special teams contributor Nate Ebner (groin) were downgraded from their original questionable listings on Friday's final injury report of the week.
Burkhead's absence could mean a potential role for rookie draft choice Damien Harris, who has yet to figure into the first four games' game plans. Meanwhile, with Chung and Ebner both heavily involved on special teams units, this week's signing of veteran safety and special teamer Jordan Richards seems to make a lot more sense.
In addition to the above roster moves, ESPN reported Saturday that tight end Benjamin Watson, who's returning from an NFL suspension, will not be part of the equation this weekend.
New England's two other tight ends, Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo, have dealt with injuries in recent weeks, but neither man was listed on this week's report.
The Patriots will have to deactivate four more players by 11:30 Sunday morning – 90 minutes before kickoff – to comply with the NFL's 46-man game day roster requirement.