Patriots Notes: Joe Thuney Injury Update; Rookie Tight End Debuts Vs. 49ers

Thuney left Sunday's loss with an ankle injury


October 25, 2020

Some assorted notes and nuggets from the San Francisco 49ers’ 33-6 shellacking of the New England Patriots on Sunday at Gillette Stadium:

— The Patriots lost three players to injuries in the loss: wide receiver N’Keal Harry (head), guard Joe Thuney (ankle) and offensive tackle Justin Herron (ankle). All three left the game and did not return.

Thuney’s injury is believed to be a mild low ankle sprain, according to a report from NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero — good news for a player who has not missed a game in his five-year NFL career.

Before leaving Sunday’s game, Thuney, a second-team All-Pro last season, hadn’t missed an offensive snap since Week 7 of last season.

— Second-year pro Jakobi Meyers replaced Harry on offense and was one of the few bright spots for New England, finishing with four catches on six targets for a team-high 60 yards.

Meyers’ other two targets resulted in Cam Newton interceptions, but neither was within the young wideout’s reach.

Ten Patriots players caught passes in the game, but only Meyers and running back Rex Burkhead (three for 35 yards) caught more than one. Receivers Julian Edelman (three targets), Damiere Byrd (two targets) and Harry (two targets) each finished with one reception.

— The Patriots made a change to their tight end depth chart for this game, swapping out one third-round rookie (Devin Asiasi) for another (Dalton Keene).

Keene made his NFL debut following a streak of four straight healthy scratches. The Virginia Tech product finished with one catch on one target for 8 yards and saw ample playing time as he rotated with starter Ryan Izzo.

Asiasi, who has yet to receive a target in five games this season, sat out as a healthy scratch.

— Slow starts have plagued the Patriots all season. They have scored just seven first-quarter points through six games, and those came on a Devin McCourty pick-six in Week 2. The offense has yet to score in the opening frame.

New England did get a Nick Folk field goal seconds into the second quarter Sunday but failed to score a single touchdown. That had not happened since 2016, when Jacoby Brissett was shut out 16-0 by the Buffalo Bills.

— Speaking of Buffalo, the 2-4 Patriots trail their 5-2 division foes by 2 1/2 games in the AFC East. On tap next Sunday: a matchup with the Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y.

New England then will face the winless New York Jets on “Monday Night Football” before welcoming the formidable Baltimore Ravens to Gillette Stadium in Week 10.

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