Patriots Rule Out Up-and-Coming Safety vs. Steelers

Getty New England Patriots, Joshuah Bledsoe

In some regard, the New England Patriots dodged a few bullets on the final injury report ahead of their Week 2 clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In other ways, their depth at safety could take a slight hit.

While Mac Jones and others have been cleared to play in the Week 2 matchup, second-year safety Joshuah Bledsoe was downgraded from questionable to out in the final injury report with a groin injury.

After sitting out the 2021 season as a member of the Patriots practice squad, Bledsoe made the team’s 53-man roster; the Missouri alum didn’t get in for a single snap in the loss against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1.

At some point this season, Bledsoe could make an impact once he can get healthy. During the preseason, Bledsoe made a name for himself as a sure tackler and even forced a fumble.

Bledsoe’s play helped secure a spot on the 53-man roster, but the Patriots have excellent depth at safety. Cracking the lineup will be challenging for the 23-year-old, but staying healthy is necessary.

Bledsoe missed last season with a non-football-related injury.

The Final Injury Report for the Patriots vs. Steelers

The Patriots are expected to be fairly healthy heading into the battle with the Steelers. While several players are still listed as questionable, Jones is no longer on the injury report, and others who are listed made the trip to Pittsburgh.

Here is a look at who remains on the injury report, along with their status:


  • RB Pierre Strong Jr. (shoulder)
  • OT Trent Brown (ankle)
  • LB Raekwon McMillan (thumb)
  • S Adrian Phillips (ribs)
  • CB Shaun Wade (ankle)


  • S Joshuah Bledsoe (groin)

Interestingly, the Patriots didn’t elevate anyone from their practice squad. With no movement on that front, it would appear the Patriots expect the vast majority of their walking wounded to play vs. the Steelers.

One player to watch is Pierre Strong Jr. The Patriots placed RB/WR Ty Montgomery on injured reserve, which means he’ll miss at least four weeks of action.

New England could have elevated JJ Taylor, but they didn’t make the move. Strong is on the injury report, but he might also be added depth at running back behind Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson.

Examining the Patriots’ Safety Depth

The safety position is arguably the strongest on the Patriots’ roster. New England has veteran and team captain Devin McCourty starting at free safety. He is getting a long in the tooth, but he still appears to be productive.

The Patriots also have Adrian Phillips, the thumping hybrid-LB who suffered a rib injury in Week 1, but seems healed enough to play against the Steelers. There’s also third-year man, Kyle Dugger. While he may have the most physical skills at his position on the team, there are still moments when Dugger makes some bad decisions.

His error helped to spring Jaylen Waddle on a crucial 42-yard TD play on fourth down at the end of the first half in Week 1. In any case, that one error was huge, but it shouldn’t take away the praise headed Dugger’s way before the slip-up.

The Patriots will look for more of the same from this group on Sunday.

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