Stephon Gilmore missed his third consecutive game Sunday, remaining sidelined with a concussion and an ankle injury as the New England Patriots knocked off the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium.
During a conference call one day after the 21-13 victory, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked whether the cornerback’s absence was health-related or a coach’s decision.
“Well, we listed him on the injury report the way we always do,” Belichick said. “We make those designations on Friday, and then based on where things are on Sunday, then we make the determination. I think, when he’s ready and able to play and able to do everything, then I’m sure he’ll be able to help us. We’re working towards that point. We’re getting closer and we’ll see when we get there.”
Gilmore was limited in practice all week and was listed as questionable for the game. Johnson Bademosi again started in his place opposite Malcolm Butler, and although Bademosi did not play as well as he had in the previous two weeks, the Patriots held Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers to just 212 yards on 30 pass attempts.
Belichick also did not have much to add about the status of injured receivers Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell.
“When we give our injury report next week, we’ll include all the players on it that need to be included on it, like we always do,” the coach said when asked about Hogan, who left Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury. “So you can be sure that anybody that should be listed on the injury report will be. I don’t know which players those will be, but that’s what the injury report is for.”
The “best-case scenario” for Hogan is a sprained AC joint, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. The Patriots have a bye this week, meaning they are not required to release an injury report until next Wednesday.
Mitchell, who has spent the entire season on injured reserve, is eligible to return to action next Sunday against the Denver Broncos. The wideout has yet to practice, however, and Belichick did not give a timetable for his return to the active roster.
“I don’t know,” Belichick said. “We’ll have to see how it goes. There’s still a lot of football left. Guys that are eligible to come back — I mean, that could potentially be eligible to come back or working hard to try to get better — they’re improving, so we’ll just see where all that takes us. I don’t know.”
Patriots linebacker Shea McClellin, who also is on IR, began practicing earlier this month. It would not be surprising to see him activated before the Denver game.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images