MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – In a not entirely shocking move, the Patriots decided to play it safe with right tackle Marcus Cannon. He traveled to Miami with the team, but will not be playing in today's game.
Cannon, you may recall, went down with what looked like a very serious injury to his left shoulder during the fourth quarter of the Steelers game a week ago, yet he was able to practice on a limited basis throughout this past week.
Early in pregame warmups at Hard Rock Stadium, Cannon went through an on-field medical evaluation with members of the coaching staff, but he apparently isn't fit enough to take part today.
In his absence last week, left guard Joe Thuney moved over to right tackle, with newcomer Jermaine Eluemunor filling in for Thuney. Eluemunor is a healthy scratch today (not listed on the injury report), but tackle Korey Cunningham, deactivated against the Steelers, is on the 46-man game day roster. He could get the nod at right tackle in Cannon's place.
New England downgraded RB Brandon Bolden just before departing for South Florida on Saturday. He'd only been able to practice on a limited basis due to a hamstring injury. His presence on special teams units will need to be accounted for today against Miami. In the opener against Pittsburgh last week, Bolden was assigned kickoff return duty, so, it will be interesting to see who gets the assignment here today. Perhaps rookie Gunner Olszewski, who was the punt returner a week ago.
Elsewhere, DE Deatrich Wise is a healthy scratch, as are a trio of rookies. CB Joejuan Williams and RB Damien Harris will be held out for their second consecutive contest. WR Jakobi Meyers apparently will give way to Antonio Brown on the receiver depth chart. Meyers played versus Pittsburgh, but Brown's arrival this past week meant another receiver would likely have to yield his spot on the 46. How much Brown plays and how he's utilized today will be very interesting to see.
On defense, LB Kyle Van Noy returns after missing the opener to witness the birth of his first child. Rookie D-lineman Byron Cowart will also be active today after being a healthy scratch a week ago.
The Dolphins, meantime, will be without a pair of starters, one on each side of the ball. Safety Reshad Jones is a tough loss for Miami, who will also be without WR Albert Wilson.