Due to the quick turnaround between games, the Patriots were back on the practice field on what is normally the NFL's day off. But since New England is hosting the New York Jets this Thursday, they had to cram all their prep work into a just a couple of days.
Today's session was a walkthrough (helmets, but no other pads), and notably absent were two significant players: RB Shane Vereen and WR Danny Amendola.
Vereen, as was first reported yesterday by Fox Sports, underwent surgery to repair a broken bone in his wrist, suffered very early against Buffalo Sunday. He has since been placed on injured reserve/designated for return, meaning he'll be out of commission for at least the next eight weeks before he will be eligible to practice again.
One player who could spell Vereen is veteran Leon Washington, but he, too, missed the Buffalo game because of an injury (thigh) and was limited in today's walkthrough.
Amendola also played through a serious injury to his right groin against the Bills, and it appears he could be out for at least in the short term, according to multiple media reports. The team listed his participation at the walkthrough as "limited," too.
Amendola was seen walking briefly into and out of the locker room following today's practice, but he declined to go on record to comment about his health status. New England can ill afford to lose any more receivers, which makes rookie Aaron Dobson's declaration today all the more important.
Dobson was scratched from the lineup against Buffalo due to a left hamstring problem, but told reporters in the locker room after today's workout that he "definitely" expects to play Thursday night against the Jets.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski (back/left forearm) was present for the walkthrough earlier today, but his status for Thursday remains unclear. And rookie tight end Zach Sudfeld was added to the injury report this week with a hamstring issue. Given the situation at tight end, New England re-signed veteran Matthew Mulligan, who was on the roster for a couple of days last week before being cut.
Three more players were added to the Week 2 injury report Tuesday, making a total of 13 Patriots who are dealing with something medical: cornerbacks Marquice Cole (hamstring) and Alfonzo Dennard (ankle) and running back Stevan Ridley (shoulder).
Jones-ing for more
Second-year man Chandler Jones spoke a little today about a wrinkle the Patriots unveiled Sunday against Buffalo. The defensive end slid inside to tackle on several plays when the team inserted a third d-end to help get more pressure on Buffalo rookie QB E.J. Manuel.
Jones addressed the differences of facing a smaller-bodied guard in those instances, as opposed to the larger, longer-armed tackles.
"It's a lot different. There's a lot less space. You don't have a lot of room to use certain moves. You have to kind of come in with an amount of moves you can move and perfect those.
And he appeared to have some success from that spot.
"Thank you… I had a few pressures," he admitted with a chuckle and grin. "Hopefully, we can get it done Thursday night."