Heading into a must-win game against the AFC-East-leading Buffalo Bills, the New England Patriots are once again ravaged by injuries. Here’s a look at the likely replacements for the missing starters.
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
Stephon Gilmore is Out
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year whose name has been mentioned steadily in trade rumors is out with a knee injury.
The injury is considered to be minor, but it is enough to snap Gilmore’s streak of 46 consecutive regular-season games. He’ll be replaced by J.C. Jackson.
This is a huge moment and situation for Jackson and the Patriots. If Gilmore is on the block as expected, this game could be a showcase for Jackson and an opportunity for him to prove to the organization that he is ready to step into that top corner spot that Gilmore has occupied.
Jackson comes into the game ranked No. 3 among all corners in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. If Jackson shines against Buffalo, especially while matched against an elite receiver like Stefon Diggs, he will have taken major steps toward proving Gilmore is expendable.
Julian Edelman is Out and Headed to Injured Reserve
The Patriots great had what was considered a minor procedure on his ailing knee, and he has been placed on injured reserve.
View this post on Instagram
WR Julian Edelman underwent a precautionary knee procedure this morning. He is expected to miss "a period of time" including this weeks game against Buffalo. The Patriots receiving corp is hurting. Thoughts? • • • • #Patriots #NewEnglandPatriots #NewEngland #PatsNation #Pats #GoPats #PatsGame #GilletteStadium #Boston #Bruins #RedSox #Celtics #Kraft #TomBrady #Brady #TB12 #Edelman #Gronkowski #Gronk #NFL #JustPats #McCourty #BostonStrong #PatriotsFans #Fans #DieHardPatriots #Win #SuperBowl #Champions #goat
Edelman’s spot on the roster will be filled by undrafted rookie Isaiah Zuber. The rookie has appeared in three games this season after having been elevated for COVID-19 relief, and once for a more traditional roster move.
With Edelman out at least three weeks on IR, expect to see a lot of Zuber over the next few weeks.
Justin Herron is Out and Headed to Injured Reserve
In the Week 7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Herron injured his ankle. He returned to practice but is still clearly not ready to get back on the field.
Korey Cunningham will start in his place, but the Patriots didn’t elevate an offensive lineman from the practice squad.
Kyle Dugger is Out
The promising rookie out of Lenoir-Rhyne had been a mainstay on the field, but he will also miss the crucial game on Sunday. Terrence Brooks will start in his place, which means Brooks may have Bills tight end Tyler Croft as his primary assignment in pass coverage.
N’Keal Harry is Out
The underachieving second-year pro is out with a concussion. The Patriots didn’t elevate a second receiver from the practice squad, so instead, the team will go with Zuber, Gunner Olszewski, Jakobi Meyers, and Damiere Byrd as the only receivers on the active roster for Sunday.
Here is a look at the other transactions that took place on Saturday ahead of the game.
- Rookie LB Josh Uche and S/ST Cody Davis were activated off IR
- RB Sony Michel off COVID reserve, but still on IR
- DL Nick Thurman promoted to 53
- DE Tashawn Bower elevated from PS
- Former Patriots Star Slams Bill Belichick’s Treatment of ‘Top Players’
- Patriots Potential Trade Target Reiterates Desire to Be Moved
- Former Patriots Rival Shares Bold Criticism of Bill Belichick
- Bill Belichick Comments On Slew of Patriots Trade Rumors
- Cam Newton’s Powerful Comments Draw Strong Reaction From Teammate