New England Patriots

  • Both the Patriots and Lions started the week with multiple key offensive starters not practicing. However, each side seems to be getting healthier as the week goes on, per Thursday’s injury reports.

    For the Patriots, tight end Jonnu Smith (ankle) returned to practice on Thursday. Smith didn’t participate on Wednesday and his status has previously been reported as ‘week-to-week.’

    Smith was one of eight players limited for the Patriots on Wednesday. The seven he joined were all limited Wednesday as well. That includes quarterback Mac Jones (ankle) who against took part in practice but appeared to be walking with  a bit of a limp. The other limited players were once again wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (knee), offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (hip), linebacker Raekwon McMillan (thumb), cornerback Jalen Mills (hamstring), and safeties Adrian Phillips (ribs), Kyle Dugger (knee).

  • Three players didn’t take part in practice on Thursday including quarterback Brian Hoyer (concussion), who according to ESPN’s Field Yates has been placed on IR. Hoyer will now miss at least four games, including this week’s game against Detroit. There was no immediate corresponding move reported to fill his roster spot. With Hoyer unavailable and Jones still dealing with the high ankle sprain, Bailey Zappe is the only remaining healthy quarterback on the Patriots’ active roster, with Garrett Gilbert on the practice squad.

    Defensive linemen Lawrence Guy (shoulder) and DaMarcus Mitchell (concussion) were also non-participants on Thursday. Even though he didn’t take part in the session, Guy was on the practice field for the portion of practice open to the media (mostly stretching) – as was the case on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile for Detroit, they got a number of players back on the field. 10 players didn’t participate in Lions practice on Wednesday, including a handful of offensive starters. Some of those players, such as tight end T.J. Hockenson (hip) and center Frank Ragnow (foot) were upgraded to limited on Thursday while running back D’Andre Swift (shoulder/ankle) and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (ankle) remained out. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler noted earlier on Thursday that Swift isn’t expected to be able to play in Sunday’s game.

    We’ll get a better idea of the status of all of these players in about 24 hours when the teams release their final injury reports of the week. Those will include game statuses for Sunday.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.