Welcome back to NFL football, everyone! I thought that it might be good to give you all a rundown on the major (and some, thankfully, more minor) Patriot injuries to keep an eye on heading into Week 1 of the season.
In spite of the thinned number of wide receivers made much more visible by the early-season loss of Julian Edelman to a four-game suspension, the Patriots are entering the season relatively healthy (knock on wood, cross my fingers and toes). Only two players are listed as “limited” on Thursday’s injury report.
Let’s check in those and all of the injuries — from those that I have long-term concerns about (Rex Burkhead, Sony Michel, Edelman, Marcus Cannon and Derek Rivers) to the others that should be ready to roll — that could impact the Patriots’ season…
Tom Brady, QB: You know I had to start with him. After missing the preseason opener against the Redskins, it was revealed that Brady was dealing with a “minor” back injury. We never saw him wince, no sign of a hitch in his gait — in fact, his uncharacteristically light workload in camp was the only sign that something may be bothering the quarterback. This isn’t something to be overly concerned about, but don’t be surprised if you see Brady getting in some protective core workouts when he can.
Jeremy Hill, RB: Despite publicly taking heat from Bengals coach Marvin Lewis last November for his decision, Hill chose to end his season to have a worsening ankle injury taken care of. Surgery was done to address bone spurs that were restricting his ankle mobility and slowing him down. Now with the Patriots, Hill was horse-collared in an end zone play during the Carolina preseason game. He came up gingerly, favoring his repaired ankle. Thankfully, Hill has seemed fine since. He’s practicing and did not appear on the Week 1 injury report. I would expect Jeremy Hill to return to his pre-injury form this season, looking forward to seeing what he can contribute to the Patriots’ offense.
Rex Burkhead, RB: The running back missed some time in training camp due to a “slight tear” in his knee. Reportedly, he would have played through the injury if it was the regular season and that he’s ready to go for Week 1. This will be an injury to keep an eye on. We don’t know what was torn, but even a “minor” tear isn’t a great thing, especially