Patriots Lose 3 Starters Before Colts Game in Germany

Bill Belichick

Getty Bill Belichick will work with three fewer starters on Sunday in Germany.

As the New England Patriots head to Germany, the team ruled out three starters for the international site game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker won’t suit up due to a concussion, and offensive tackle Trent Brown won’t play due to an ankle injury. New England’s injury report on Thursday, November 9, also included defensive back J.C. Jackson, who already missed the trip amid a personal absence.

The Patriots look to snap a two-game skid against the Colts, which have their own share of injuries going into the Frankfurt, Germany game on November 12. Indianapolis will sit tight end Andrew Olgetree due to a foot injury and cornerback Julius Brents due to a quad injury.

Colts wide receiver Josh Downs couldn’t practice on Thursday due to a knee injury, and fellow receiver Alec Pierce had limited participation due to an ankle injury.  Downs ranks second on the team in receiving with 41 catches for 483 yards and two touchdowns this season, and Pierce ranks third for receiving with 17 receptions for 243 yards.

As for the Patriots losing Parker, it won’t help a New England offense that needs a spark though he hasn’t lit things up this season. Parker has 15 catches for 158 yards in seven games despite the team’s offseason investment in him — a contract extension that could pay him $33 million through 2025.

Brown’s absence will hurt the offense overall — especially quarterback Mac Jones‘ left side. Brown has an 81.4 Pro Football Focus grade, and backup left tackle Vederian Lowe, who was limited on Thursday, only has a 40.7 PFF grade.

Defensively, the Patriots take a hit without Jackson on the field with an already lean secondary. He has six pass deflections, an interception, and 17 tackles this year.

New England Facing an Additional Shakeup With the Offensive Line

Besides Brown’s absence, New England won’t have offensive line coach Arian Klemm starting this Sunday and beyond for undisclosed health reasons. Assistant offensive line coach Billy Yates will fill in for now.

“Obviously, I’ve known Billy Yates now for three years and I’ve worked with him,” Patriots center David Andrews said in a press conference on Wednesday, November 8. “I think he always does a great job. It is what it is. You have to deal with it, you have to move on, and you have to keep moving. Definitely thoughts and prayers with A.K., but we’re having a good group of guys handling it maturely and just try to move forward each week.”

“Definitely thinking about AK,” Andrews added. “We all have things that happen. Sometimes getting in a football building and it’s ‘Football, football.’ But there’s still life going on outside, and things.”

Mac Jones Expresses Confidence in Offensive Line Situation

Jones expressed his confidence that the offensive line will fare well with Yates taking charge in place of Klemm.

“I feel like we have a good coaching staff that works together, and every week they’re always working together,” Jones said in a press conference on Wednesday. “I think it’s a unit versus one person, and that’s important to make sure as players we come together as a unit and as coaches, we come together as a unit, too.”

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