FOXBRO, Mass. — The chances of New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead playing Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars at least increased Thursday.
Burkhead, who didn’t participate in practice with a concussion Wednesday, was upgraded to limited. That should mean Burkhead participated in some contact drills unless the Patriots are messing with the Jaguars.
Here’s the full injury report:
RB Rex Burkhead (concussion)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
S Nate Ebner (knee)
TE Jacob Hollister (hamstring)
RB Sony Michel (knee)
Burkhead’s next step in concussion protocol is to be a full participant in practice and then cleared by an independent neurologist. Based on Burkhead being limited in practice Thursday, it appears he should be in Step Five of the concussion protocol.
“After the player-patient has established his ability to participate in non-contact football activity including team meetings, conditioning and non-contact practice without recurrence of signs and symptoms and his neurocognitive testing is back to baseline, the team physician may clear him for full football activity involving contact. Once cleared by the team physician, the player-patient may participate in all aspects of practice. If the player-patient tolerates full participation practice and contact without signs or symptoms and the team physician concludes that the player-patient’s concussion has resolved, he may clear the player-patient to return to full participation. For the avoidance of doubt, if a player cannot participate in practice or full contact with other players due to the time of year and/or rules imposed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, simulated contact activity will suffice to satisfy this step. Upon clearance by the team physician, the player must be examined by the INC assigned to his Club. The INC must be provided a copy of all relevant reports and tests, including the Sideline and Booth UNC reports, the Booth ATC Spotter report and team injury reports, and have access to video of the injury, where applicable, and the player-patient’s neurocognitive tests and interpretations. If the INC confirms the team physician’s conclusion that the player-patient’s concussion has resolved, the player-patient is considered cleared and may participate in his Club’s next game or practice.”
Even if Burkhead gets cleared, that doesn’t mean the Patriots will elect to give him a full workload in a game. The Patriots also have Michel, James White and Kenjon Barner on their 53-man roster at running back. They also have Kenneth Farrow and Ralph Webb on their practice squad. If Burkhead doesn’t get cleared and/or Michel can’t play in Week 2, then the Patriots could elect to sign Farrow or Webb off the practice squad by Saturday at 4 p.m.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images