Chargers @ Patriots Injury Report: Patriots Missing Several Key Players

This week, just like the last several, the Chargers' opponent enters the game with several significant injuries. The Patriots are pretty banged up, especially on defense, and will be without at least a few key contributors.

Already ruled out for New England are DT Malcom Brown, CB Eric Rowe, and LB Dont'a Hightower (out for the season). Hightower is the biggest loss as he's essentially the quarterback of the defense, leading the whole unit and making sure everyone has their assignment right. Brown is a solid if not totally spectacular run defender and his absence will make Melvin Gordon's matchup a little bit easier inside. Rowe is the #3 corner for the Patriots and will miss his fourth straight game. His absence will be felt even more if #1 corner Stephon Gilmore is forced to sit.

Speaking of Gilmore, he's one of a long list of Patriots who are questionable for the game. Joining him on the questionable list are WR Danny Amendola, OT Marcus Cannon, DT Lawrence Guy, DE Cassius Marsh, and LB Elandon Roberts.

The Patriots are notoriously secretive about injuries, so it's hard to gauge who's actually going to play from this list of questionable players. Cannon was a new addition to the injury report on Friday. Being added to the report that late in the week is never a good sign and suggests that he suffered the injury during practice. As such it seems like he's got a good chance of missing the game which would be a big blow to the Patriots O-line and present an easier matchup for the Chargers' already dynamic pass-rush. The other guys seem like they'll probably play and Amendola has already told reporters he's "good to go."

On the Chargers side, there aren't many new injuries to report. Joe Barksdale will miss his second straight game, and Michael Schofield will continue filling in for him at right tackle. Other than that, they're pretty healthy. Melvin Gordon is listed as questionable but is fine and will play. Corey Liuget appears set to return after missing last week against Denver with a back injury, which will be a big boost to the run defense. Kicker Nick Novak returned to practice fully and will be good to go, despite the Chargers bringing in a few kickers for workouts.

There you have it. For yet another week, the Chargers enter the game considerably more healthy than their opponent. It will be up to them to take advantage and exploit the injuries on New England's defense.


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