New England Patriots

The New England Patriots practice in Foxborough, Mass. on Dec. 4, 2019. (Matt Dolloff/WBZ-FM)

By Matt Dolloff,

The Patriots have injury concerns on their roster in all three phases of the game ahead of Sunday’s showdown with the Chiefs.

Most notable among the absences at Patriots practice on Wednesday was the kicker, who is … who? There’s a chance they intend to re-sign Nick Folk after an emergency appendectomy knocked him out of last Sunday’s game against the Texans. But will he be able to return to football in less than two weeks? For whatever reason, Folk wasn’t available on Wednesday. The Patriots have four days to make a move at kicker.

Center Ted Karras is the big absence on offense. After starting the first 12 games of the season, Karras had to leave Sunday’s loss to the Texans with what is believed to be an MCL sprain. Karras is an offensive lineman so he may very well be tough enough to play through the injury, but it’s not looking good for him at the moment. James Ferentz appears on track to get his first career NFL start at center and second career start overall.

On defense, rookie defensive tackle Byron Cowart was not spotted at Wednesday’s practice. He’s been dealing with a head injury since last Friday and didn’t suit up against the Texans. The Patriots’ addition of former Eagles DT Albert Huggins suggests that Cowart could be headed for injured reserve, since the Patriots need to make a corresponding roster move to make room for both Huggins and a new kicker.

Kicker remains a mystery with only a few days to go before the Chiefs and Patriots take the field at Gillette Stadium. But the Karras injury is the latest setback for the Patriots’ beleaguered offensive line. At the same time, it’ll be a major opportunity for Ferentz to make an impact.

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