FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – There was a bit of concern this holiday week in Foxborough when three key Patriots popped up on the injury report. However, all three will be active for today's contest against the visiting Tennessee Titans.
Right tackle Trent Brown missed five games earlier this season due to a calf injury, which he appeared to aggravate during Wednesday's practice. It caused him to missed Thanksgiving Day's session altogether, but he managed to return on Friday on a limited basis.
Ditto for rookie defensive lineman Christian Barmore, who sustained a knee injury this week. He, too, is prepared to play today, however, as is fellow rookie Rhamondre Stevenson. The running back suffered an injury to one of his own knees on Thanksgiving, which limited his practice time thereafter.
That means the same five players who were inactive 10 days ago against the Falcons will once again sit this one out: QB Jarrett Stidham, offensive lineman Yasir Durant, tight end Devin Asiasi, running back J.J. Taylor, and rookie edge rusher Ronnie Perkins. These men are typically listed among the game-day inactives, so, their inclusion today comes as no surprise.
Meanwhile, the Titans look a lot more mortal today without some of their best players. Obviously, we won't see running back Derrick Henry or wide receiver Julio Jones, both of whom are on IR, but Tennessee will also be without the services of their leading pass catcher, A.J. Brown. He was ruled out on Friday because of a chest injury he suffered last weekend. That kept him from practicing all week.
On defense, the Titans will not have three of their best up-the-middle run-stuffers: nose tackle Teair Tart, who didn't practice this past week due to an ankle injury that he sustained a week earlier, and starting inside linebackers Rashaan Evans (ankle) and David Long (hamstring). Neither of the LBs practiced all week, either. With them in the lineup, the Titans are stout against the run, allowed an average of fewer than 100 yards per game (97.2, to be precise). But in their absence today, expect the Patriots to test that Tennessee front with their committee of hard-charging running backs.