Patriots rule out two starters, add defensive line depth for Cowboys game
The New England Patriots will be shorthanded on both sides of the ball this Sunday when they visit the Dallas Cowboys. On Saturday afternoon the team ruled out starting left guard Cole Strange and cornerback Jonathan Jones for the game.
Both Strange and Jones were listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report. Strange is dealing with a knee injury and didn’t finish last week’s game against the Jets. Jones is dealing with an ankle injury, and will miss his third game in a row this week.
With Strange out, the Patriots will likely need to turn to one of their rookie guards to start. Atonio Mafi filled in when Strange got hurt last week, but Sidy Sow will be available as well after missing the last two games with a concussion. Sow was cleared from concussion protocol on Friday.
Without Jones, the Patriots will be shorthanded at cornerback once again. In addition to Jones being out, Shaun Wade is listed as questionable for the game with a shoulder injury. That leaves the Patriots’ healthy cornerbacks as Christian Gonzalez and Myles Bryant, who both played very well last week against the Jets. The team also has Jalen Mills – who has only played safety this year after playing corner for the Patriots the last two years – and rookie Ameer Speed who has only played on special teams so far this year.
The Patriots elected to not elevate any of their practice squad cornerbacks for the game. Their lone elevation is defensive tackle Jeremiah Pharms, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
Pharms will be suiting up for an NFL game for the first time. The 26-year-old signed with the Patriots’ practice squad last season after spending the summer with the team. He played his college ball at the JUCO level before transferring to NAIA Friends University. Out of college, he played professionally in the Champions Indoor Football League and then the USFL before signing with the Patriots.
At 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, Pharms will give the Patriots increased depth on the interior of the defensive line. This comes after the team had two defensive tackles get hurt last week – Daniel Ekuale has since been placed on IR, and Davon Godchaux is questionable with an ankle injury.
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