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Game Day Roster Update: Secondary absorbs another hit

Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones (31).
Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones (31).

New England continues to have health issues in its defensive backfield, with nearly every player dealing with at least one injury or another. The latest involves slot corner Jonathan Jones, who went on the team's injured reserve list Saturday.

During last weekend's game against Dallas, Jones left briefly with what was described at the time as a rib injury. However, throughout this week of practice, Jones did not take part at all due to what was reported by the club as a shoulder issue.

As a result of this move, recent practice squad call-up Myles Bryant could be thrust into more of a role tomorrow versus the Jets. Joejuan Williams, who was a healthy scratch a week ago, will also likely play or at least provide depth to a position group that has been dealing with injuries throughout this season.

Meanwhile, on the offensive line – another group that has been challenged with various health predicaments in 2021 – had no players listed on the injury report this week. Nevertheless, veteran James Ferentz has been promoted from the practice squad for the third consecutive week. Ferentz started at left guard in place of Mike Onwenu the past two games, and could very well do so again if the coaching staff elects to keep Onwenu at right tackle, where he subbed in last week after coming off the reserve/COVID list. Or Ferentz could simply be insurance for the interior line spots, where he customarily plays.

The Patriots also called up veteran defensive lineman Daniel Ekuale, perhaps because several D-lineman on the active roster are dealing with various injuries this week: Davon Godchaux (finger), Deatrich Wise (knee), and rookie Christian Barmore (shoulder). Of the three, only Godchaux was unable to practice, but it's probably a safe bet that at least one of these men will be deactivated tomorrow and Ekuale should be able to provide some depth and experience. He has appeared in 16 games with the several teams he's been with since coming into the NFL in 2018. Ekuale's been on the Patriots practice squad since early September.

As always, more roster deactivations will have to be made tomorrow before kickoff, as required by the league to reduce the active roster to 48 players for game days. We'll discuss those moves Sunday around 11:30 when the team makes that announcement.

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