FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots likely will be thin along the defensive line Sunday when they host the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium.
Defensive tackle Malcom Brown missed his third consecutive practice Friday with an ankle injury, all but assuring he will not play this weekend. Brown suffered the injury during last Sunday’s win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Don’t expect to see cornerback Eric Rowe or linebacker Dont’a Hightower, either. Rowe remains sidelined with a groin injury, and Hightower is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his pectoral muscle against Atlanta.
In addition to Brown’s absence, defensive tackle Alan Branch left the practice field immediately after warmups Friday and was seen jogging down the tunnel toward the locker room. Media members only are permitted to watch the first few minutes of practice, so it’s unclear whether Branch later returned.
Brown, Branch, Lawrence Guy and Adam Butler are the only D-tackles on the Patriots’ 53-man roster, and Guy has been limited in practice this week with a chest injury.
New England could add some depth at the position by placing Hightower on injured reserve and elevating Angelo Blackson from the practice squad, but no such move had been made as of midday Friday.
Thumbnail photo via Scott R. Galvin/USA TODAY Sports Images