FOXBORO, Mass. — Alfonzo Dennard may not be ready for a starter’s share of snaps after missing the entire preseason.
If Dennard doesn’t start, it likely won’t be due to health or his impending trial, but because he has yet to take the field. Dennard got hurt right before New England’s first preseason game against the Eagles and didn’t appear to get healthy again until just before the team’s final game against the Giants.
Dennard stood on the sideline with the rest of the starters as the Patriots’ reserves played at Gillette Stadium against New York. He hasn’t appeared on the team’s first two injury reports, so it should be assumed the second-year player is fully healthy.
Kyle Arrington looked solid in the preseason across from Aqib Talib, but Dennard was starting in the base defense by the end of the 2012 season. Dennard showed better skills than Arrington as an outside corner. Arrington’s best play comes in the slot.
If Arrington and Talib start, Dennard will likely come onto the field during nickel and dime situations. He’ll play outside while Arrington slides inside. Dennard could still start, but it might be doubtful since this will be his first time playing at full speed this season.
To hear more about the Patriots’ secondary, including how much playing time is expected out of Duron Harmon and Tavon Wilson, watch NESN.com Patriots writer Doug Kyed and MassLive.com’s Nick Underhill discuss the defensive backs in the video above.