Patriots Get Huge Returns to Practice For Week 10 vs. Ravens

Getty Stephon Gilmore

The New England Patriots seem set to be back closer to full strength for their Week 10 battle at home with the Baltimore Ravens. Several major players returned to practice on Wednesday including Stephon Gilmore, N’Keal Harry, and Jermaine Eluemunor, who isn’t on the injury report because he’s technically on injured reserve.

There was a lot of limited participation, but limited is better than none.

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The Patriots Really Missed Stephon Gilmore

We’ve talked a lot about J.C. Jackson being ready to take over as the Patriots’ No. 1 cornerback. While he did come up with one of the biggest defensive plays of the Patriots’ 30-27 win over the New York Jets on Monday, he was burned on multiple occasions by Breshad Perriman.

It was impossible not to wonder what would have happened if Gilmore had been on the field with those assignments, and Jackson had been in a role he was more comfortable.

Hopefully, Gilmore will be back on Sunday night.

With Jakobi Meyers Emerging, Could N’Keal Harry Be Next?

Jakobi Meyers had a career day on Monday night with 12 receptions for 169 yards. He appears to have emerged as the team’s No. 1 receiving option with Harry and Edelman out. Edelman may or may not return this year, but Harry was back at practice–in a limited capacity–on Wednesday.

He and Meyers don’t play the same position, so they won’t necessarily take playing time away from the other. However, they could be forced to share targets. Cam Newton has been more comfortable throwing toward the middle of the field this season where Meyers has begun to make his living. Perhaps with a bigger and traditionally more physical target like Harry back on the field, we’ll see a few more downfield shots.

Harry will likely have more opportunities to prove he’s ready to become a downfield threat–as long as he continues to progress from his concussion.

Jermaine Eluemenor’s Return Shouldn’t Be Understated

There hasn’t been as much talk about Eluemenor’s absence or seemingly imminent return. He had been rock solid at right tackle before going down with an injury. His return could help to add more stability to the Patriots’ offensive line.

Eluemunor, rookie Michael Onwenu, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Joe Thuney are the Patriots five-best O-lineman, but if they go with this group as the starters, they will need to move some guys around. Eluemunor would likely switch to left tackle with Onwenu going to right tackle.

That would leave Korey Cunningham out of the mix. Other than that, Eluemunor’s return could send Onwenu to the bench, and based on the way he’s been playing, it’s hard to imagine the Patriots would want to limit his snaps.

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