The New England Patriots could be facing another shorthanded opposing offense this week.
Indianapolis Colts All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor missed his second consecutive practice Thursday after aggravating an ankle injury, putting his availability for Sunday’s game at Gillette Stadium in doubt.
Taylor was the NFL’s rushing leader last season, and he dominated the Patriots when these teams met last December, rushing for 170 yards and a touchdown in a 27-17 win for Indianapolis. If he cannot play this week, the Colts — who shipped pass-catching back Nyhiem Hines to Buffalo at the trade deadline — would be left with Deon Jackson, the newly acquired Zack Moss and practice squadders Phillip Lindsay, Jordan Wilkins and D’vonte Price as their options at running back.
Last week, the Patriots won 22-17 over a New York Jets team that was missing its top running back, best offensive lineman and starting wide receiver. In Week 2, the Patriots beat the T.J. Watt-less Pittsburgh Steelers; three weeks later, they shut out the Detroit Lions without D’Andre Swift. New England also faced a parade of depleted teams during its seven-game win streak last season, including the Cleveland Browns without Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and the Tennessee Titans sans Derrick Henry.
A total of five Colts players sat out Thursday’s practice due to injury, including left tackle Dennis Kelly. Ex-Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, meanwhile, was upgraded to full participation after missing Wednesday with a rib injury.
Here is the Colts’ full injury report:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
CB Tony Brown – Hamstring
T Dennis Kelly – Calf/Ankle
QB Matt Ryan – Right Shoulder
DT Grover Stewart – Not Injury Related – Resting Player
LB Grant Stuard – Pectoral
RB Jonathan Taylor – Ankle
C Ryan Kelly – Knee
LB E.J. Speed – Ankle
DT DeForest Buckner – Shoulder
CB Stephon Gilmore – Rib
RB Zack Moss – Not Injury Related – Travel
DE Yannick Ngakoue – Not Injury Related – Resting Player
DE Kwity Paye – Ankle
The Patriots were down two starting offensive linemen Thursday with center David Andrews and right tackle Marcus Cannon both recovering from concussions. Wide receiver DeVante Parker and running back Damien Harris also missed practice for the second consecutive day.