New England Patriots

Patriots tight end Jacob Hollister is among a group of players who aren’t expected to play on Friday night against the Panthers. ESPN’s Mike Reiss first reported the news on Twitter, but later added that Hollister’s issue is “nothing serious”.

Hollister is the only surprise on Reiss’ list of players expected out on Friday at Bank of America Stadium for “health/rehab reasons”. That includes RB Rex Burkhead, OT Marcus Cannon, S Nate Ebner, TE Ryan Izzo, LB Harvey Langi, and RB Sony Michel. Ebner continues to work his way back from a torn ACL, while the rest have been either absent or limited in practices.

Interestingly enough, Reiss’ list of names did not include defensive end Trey Flowers or cornerback Duke Dawson. Both players have also been limited recently. They could still sit out due to coaches’ decisions, but it wouldn’t necessarily be for injury reasons.

Aug 9, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Anderson (52) tackles New England Patriots tight end Jacob Hollister (47) during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Hollister has a chance to carve out a valuable role in the Patriots offense in 2018. He’s clearly the No. 2 receiving option at tight end behind Rob Gronkowski, whose status for the game should also be in question based on history. He caught a 22-yard pass from Tom Brady in last Thursday’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles. But the second-year tight end out of Wyoming will apparently lose out on a chance to keep building chemistry with the quarterback.

It would be promising to see Brady produce with newer targets elsewhere. Phillip Dorsett or Riley McCarron, perhaps. But it’ll be hard for the offense to prove much if Gronkowski isn’t out there. The real microscope in this game should be on the defense, anyway.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at