FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Two key players who popped up on this week's Patriots injury report with ankle injuries will dress for today's opener against the Dolphins.
Had defensive back Jalen Mills not been able to go, it would have put a severe dent in New England's secondary with starter Stephon Gilmore currently on PUP (the physically unable to perform list). However, Mills has been deemed fit enough at least to suit up and give it a go. It will be worth monitoring how long he might last in today's game, though.
Ditto for wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who, like Mills, will make his Patriots debut today. Both players missed some practice time this week because of their injuries. In Agholor's case, he has also been in and out of the lineup this summer due to health issues, so, his availability and playing time will be of interest today.
Those who won't play for New England are a half-dozen deactivated players, a couple of whom were limited in practices this week because of injuries: backup offensive lineman Yodny Cajuste (hamstring) and rookie edge rusher Ronnie Perkins (shoulder).
Second-year tight end Devin Asiasi's inclusion on the inactive list comes as a bit of a surprise, given how productive he's been this summer and New England's new emphasis on his position. He's a healthy scratch today, though (not listed on the injury report). Same for running back J.J. Taylor, rookie cornerback Shaun Wade, and rookie kicker Quinn Nordin. The latter is not at all surprising, seeing how the team promoted veteran Nick Folk from the practice squad late Saturday.
Notable on the Dolphins side of the equation is Austin Jackson. Miami's starting left tackle – a crucial blocker for starting QB Tua Tagovailoa – didn't practice all week after being placed on the 'Phins' COVID list, but he was removed from it this weekend and should be in the lineup this afternoon.
The Dolphins listed eight other players on their injury report this week, but all of them, save wide receiver Preston Williams, were full participants throughout or by week's end. Williams will not be available for Miami today, which will hurt the Dolphins' depth at that position.