FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Starting center and co-captain David Andrews was spotted at Patriots practices this week, but couldn't take part because of his heavily bandaged right hand – an injury he seems to have sustained at Seattle last weekend. Late Saturday, New England placed Andrews on its Injured Reserve list, meaning he'll be unavailable to play for at least a few weeks.
In the interim, who will take over Andrews' pivotal spot on the offensive line? Looking at the depth chart, it would appear that second-year player Hjalte Froholdt would be "next man up." The team also promoted recently re-signed veteran James Ferentz from the practice squad. He remains an option as well, having considerably more NFL playing experience than Froholdt. However, Ferentz has only been back with the team for about 10 days, so, it might be unrealistic to expect him to jump right into a starting role this quickly.
Of course, there's also a chance New England could shuffle some pieces on its starting o-line, with versatile left guard Joe Thuney an option to replace Andrews. Also of note on New England's O-line, starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn came down with a calf injury during Friday's practice, limiting his participation therein. The club listed him as Questionable to play today versus Las Vegas, but he'll be in uniform at least for the start of today's game.
New England also promoted rookie WR Isaiah Zuber and defensive lineman Nick Thurman from the practice squad on Saturday. Zuber might be on board for his kickoff return abilities, as fellow rookie Kyle Dugger is active, but dealing with an ankle problem that limited him in practice this past week. Dugger is often back to return kicks for New England. Thurman might be a depth addition for Adam Butler, who was also limited in practices all week with a shoulder issue.
Running back James White will miss his second consecutive game as he deals with the loss of his father to a car accident which also hospitalized his mother. As was the case last week in Seattle, expect Rex Burkhead, Sony Michel, and rookie J.J. Taylor to shoulder the load in White's absence.
The other inactive Patriots are no surprise. All are typically healthy scratches (not listed on the injury report) and remain so today: third-string QB Jarrett Stidham, offensive lineman Korey Cunningham, rookie tight end Dalton Keene, rookie LB Anfernee Jennings, and rookie defensive back Myles Bryant.
Two of the Raiders' most explosive offensive players – TE Darren Waller (knee) and RB Josh Jacobs (hip) – are ailing, but will give it a shot today here in Foxborough. Their conditions will be worth monitoring throughout the game.
Las Vegas, however, will be without its dynamic rookie receiver and 2020 first-round draft choice, Henry Ruggs, who was ruled out Friday with knee and hamstring injuries. Starting Raiders linebacker Nick Kwiatkowski is also out of the lineup today thanks to a pectoral muscle injury that led Vegas to rule him out on Friday.
The Raiders have their O-line woes today as well. Former Patriot Trent Brown will miss his second straight start at right tackle due to a calf injury. His replacement last week against the Saints, Denzelle Good, did not practice two out of three days this past week because of a thumb injury and an illness. He's active, though, as the other Raiders backup tackle, Sam Young, is out because of a groin injury. This area could be one the Patriots try to exploit today by adding some extra QB pressure from this side of the line.