Patriots Elevate Three Players For Dolphins Game, But Not Wideout

Kristian Wilkerson won't play in Week 18


January 8, 2022

The New England Patriots elevated a trio of players from their practice squad for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins.

The Patriots called up defensive backs Sean Davis and D’Angelo Ross and defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale to their gameday roster.

Davis and Ross will help replace safety Kyle Dugger and slot cornerback Myles Bryant, respectively. Dugger was ruled out Friday with a hand injury, and Bryant has yet to be removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list. This is the seventh elevation for Ekuale, who’s played well as a reserve D-tackle this season.

Wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson, who caught two touchdown passes in last week’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, was not elevated from the practice squad. Wilkerson is out of standard elevations, so the only way he could play Sunday would be as a COVID-19 replacement or by the Patriots signing him to the 53-man roster.

The NFL is removing the practice squad elevation cap for the postseason, meaning Wilkerson will be eligible to play in any of New England’s playoff games without the team burning a roster spot. New England chose to use one of its COVID replacement slots to elevate Ross, who also is out of standard elevations.

The Patriots also will have greater depth at wide receiver this week with Nelson Agholor returning from the concussion that kept him out of the last two games. N’Keal Harry, a healthy scratch last week, likely will regain his status as New England’s No. 4 wideout behind Jakobi Meyers, Agholor and Kendrick Bourne.

Earlier Saturday, the Patriots ruled out starting linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who was limited in practice this week with a knee injury.

Kickoff at Hard Rock Stadium is set for 4:25 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports Images
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