FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – An already depleted Patriots receiver corps got more unpleasant news Sunday afternoon. Pass catchers Mohamed Sanu (left ankle) and Phillip Dorsett (concussion) will be held out of today’s game versus Dallas.
Sanu looked like he had a chance to play earlier today when he was put through a pre-game medical evaluation on the field. However, it seems that test determined that he won’t be able to withstand the rigors of a game just yet. Sanu suffered his injury in the second quarter of last Sunday’s game in Philadelphia and continued to play, but was a non-participant in the first two practices back here in Foxborough this week.
Like his teammate, Dorsett sustained his injury while catching a touchdown last week against the Eagles. Dorsett managed to suit up for two practices this week, but isn’t quite ready for game action either.
The Patriots, as a result, are down to a handful of healthy receivers and might have to rely on their rushing attack more than usual today.
Another noteworthy name on New England’s inactive list today is CB Jason McCourty. He came down with a groin injury during Friday’s practice and won’t play today because of it. The Patriots are relatively deep in the secondary, though, so, his absence shouldn’t be too difficult to absorb. Rookie Joejuan Williams, a frequent healthy scratch this season (not listed on the injury report), is active today as a result and might be a consideration for some playing time on defense.
Rookie running back Damien Harris is out for the second consecutive game as he continues to recover from a hamstring problem that has limited his practice time the past couple of weeks.
LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (right knee), like Sanu, also went through a pre-game evaluation on the field, but his injury was deemed suitable for play, so, he’ll be in uniform this afternoon. QB Tom Brady, it should be noted, was a surprise addition to the injury report on Friday, but his apparently ailing right elbow won’t keep him off the field today, at least not for the start of this game.
The rest of New England’s deactivations are all healthy scratches, familiar to this list: TE Ryan Izzo, QB Cody Kessler, offensive lineman Korey Cunningham.
Meanwhile, in Dallas, a flu bug swept through the Cowboys’ locker room this week. While that was becoming an issue, the ‘Boys ruled out an important defender, LB Leighton Vander Esch, with a neck injury. He’s the most significant Cowboy who won’t be in uniform today. However, starting right tackle La’el Collins (knee/back) is operating on just one day of practice, while guard Connor Williams is only a week or so removed from knee surgery. Both men could be vulnerable targets for the Patriots’ pass rushers.