Monday, October 3, 2022

Patriots shut out emerging Safety Vs. Steeler

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In a way, the New England Patriots dodged some bullets in the last injury report ahead of their Week 2 clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In other ways, their security depth might take a minor hit.

While Mac Jones and others were cleared for the Week 2 game, sophomore safety Joshuah Bledsoe was downgraded from questionable to out in the latest injury report with a groin injury.

After sitting out the 2021 season as a member of the Patriots’ practice squad, Bledsoe was named to the team’s 53-man roster. The Missouri graduate didn’t take a single snap in the Week 1 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Sometime this season, Bledsoe could make a difference once he recovers. In the preseason, Bledsoe made a name for himself as a sure tackler and even forced a fumble.

Bledsoe’s play helped earn a spot on the 53-man roster, but the Patriots have excellent depth of safety. Cracking the line-up will be a challenge for the 23-year-old but staying healthy is necessary.

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

The Patriots are expected to go into the fight against the Steelers in pretty healthy shape. 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’s a look at who remains on the injury report, along with their status:

Questionable

out

Interestingly, the Patriots didn’t lift anyone off their practice team. With no movement on that front, the Patriots appear to expect the vast majority of their walking wounded to play the Steelers.

One player to watch is Pierre Strong Jr. The Patriots have placed RB/WR Ty Montgomery on injured reserve, meaning he will be out of action for at least four weeks.

New England could have raised JJ Taylor, but they didn’t make the move. Strong is on the injury report but he could also have more depth as he trails behind Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson.

The security position is arguably the strongest on the Patriots roster. New England has veteran and team captain Devin McCourty starting at clear safety. He’s getting on in years, but he still seems productive.

The Patriots also have Adrian Phillips, the pounding hybrid LB who sustained a rib injury in Week 1 but appears to have healed enough to play the Steelers. There’s also a third-year man, Kyle Dugger. Even though he has the most physical ability for his position on the team, there are still moments when Dugger makes some bad decisions.

His mistake helped put Jaylen Waddle in fourth place at the end of the first half in Week 1 in a crucial 42-yard TD game. Either way, that one mistake was huge, but it shouldn’t diminish Dugger’s praise long before the slip.

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

His mistake helped put Jaylen Waddle in fourth place at the end of the first half in Week 1 in a crucial 42-yard TD game. Either way, that one mistake was huge, but it shouldn’t diminish Dugger’s praise long before the slip.

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