Some news and notes for this morning:
Parker Among Injured List
The New England Patriots released their first injury report of 2023 on Wednesday, and one name that popped up was DeVante Parker, who was listed as being limited with a knee injury.
Video posted by NBC Sports Boston during the media portion of the practice showed the veteran wideout looking a little cautious in his movements, which is certainly something to be concerned about ahead of this weekend.
DeVante Parker out at practice today. Mac Jones has to be hoping he can get Parker back on the field to help him deal with a nasty Eagles defense pic.twitter.com/UNtCdGsOiX
— The Camera Guys (@NBCSCameraGuys) September 6, 2023
Considering how tough the Eagles’ defense is, having all hands on deck on offense for the Patriots is going to be key. Given their issues along the offensive line, there are already reasons to be concerned. The Patriots are about to face a Philadelphia club that led the NFL in sacks with 70 last season, and they got even more talented there after having added Georgia’s Jalen Carter back in April’s draft with the 9th overall pick. Not having one of New England’s primary targets out on the field definitely wouldn’t help things.
Meanwhile, here’s the full list of names who were on Wednesday’s injury report:
Did Not Participate:
OT Trent Brown – Illness
CB Jack Jones – Hamstring
OL Mike Onwenu – Ankle
WR DeVante Parker – Knee
G Cole Strange – Knee
No Players Listed
According to reports, Brown’s illness doesn’t appear to be anything of concern, while both Onwenu and Strange remain question marks ahead of this weekend.
No Development on Dugger’s Contract
One story that’s been relatively quiet so far is the contract status of safety Kyle Dugger, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, and he’s set to be a free agent after this season.
Dugger was asked about it on Wednesday and told reporters “I haven’t really heard a lot,” and he’s just focused on this season.
“I don’t really have a timeline on (negotiations),” said Dugger via Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald. “I’m just trying to focus. We got a game on Sunday. So I’m just thinking about that and let my agent kind of handle everything. So (that’s) their business, and I’ve gotta handle my business.”
Dugger’s become a key piece of New England’s defense since they selected him in round two with the 37th overall pick in 2020, with the former Lenoir-Rhyne standout becoming one of the more versatile players in Bill Belichick’s defense.
He’s both a tough and athletic player who has allowed them to do so many different things, which has been a key part in the Patriots evolution defensively in recent years. He’s also finished among the top players on the team in interceptions the last two seasons (3 INTs in 2022, 4 in 2021).
What’s been a little funny about Dugger is the fact that he flies under the radar in his contributions to the point he doesn’t get much attention nationally. A poll earlier this offseason left him on the outside looking in as ESPN rated the league’s best safeties, with Dugger not cracking the top ten while instead being listed as an “honorable mention.”
Meanwhile, the Patriots certainly know how valuable he is. Now the only question is whether or not they’ll come to an agreement on an extension to make sure he remains in the fold for the foreseeable future.
Discipline Coming From the NFL on Jones?
So far, following Jack Jones seeing the charges dropped against him earlier this week, there hasn’t seemed to be any movement by the NFL yet in terms of any punishment ahead of this weekend.
Bill Belichick said on Wednesday that he expects Jones to be out there Sunday against the Eagles, and he’s been pleased with what he’s seen from the second-year defensive back despite what he had been dealing with.
“He’s done a good job,” said Belichick. “He’s been on the field, played in all the games, practiced, so he’s been out there.”
As for whether or not Belichick has heard anything from the NFL, he brushed that off, saying, “Yeah, I’m not going to get into that. Talk to the league. See what they have to say.”
Jones didn’t really violate anything that would be considered “conduct detrimental to the league,” which is what Roger Goodell has often fallen back on. With the charges being dropped, and the nature of the case itself, it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly the NFL could punish him for.
Granted, he plays for the Patriots, and everyone knows how that’s gone in recent years. But for now, it sounds like he’ll obviously be out there until something changes.
Odds and Ends
Belichick was asked if the club had named captains for the 2023 season, which he told reporters, “Yeah, we haven’t done that yet.” It shouldn’t be that far off. The Patriots announced their captains one year to the day last year on 9/7/22. … Patriots tight end Hunter Henry spoke to reporters Wednesday and said there’s a lot of confidence in the locker room heading into Sunday’s game. “We feel like we have a lot of talent in that room. I think a lot of guys are excited to go out and show it,” said Henry via Karen Guregian of MassLive. “The coaches bring a lot of confidence in us as well. They do a great job of lifting us up. We have a lot of great players in there, who are ready to go, and show it.” … Henry also added a new addition to his family after he and his wife recently celebrated the birth of their daughter back on September 1st, with Henry calling his wife a “rock star” as he spoke to the reporters. … Eagles QB Jalen Hurts has a connection with Mac Jones, with the two having played together in Alabama. He praised his former teammate as he spoke to reporters, saying, “Mac has always been a great competitor,” Hurts said via NESN’s Tim Crowley. “He had a hunger for the game. Just learning and always challenging himself.” Hurts also said he expects Jones to have a strong season, saying, “I’m looking forward to him doing big things this year.” … Belichick was asked on Wednesday what keeps him going after coaching for the last 49 years. He smiled and said, “It’s what I do,” adding, “I enjoy it. It beats working. It beats working for a living.”
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Cole Strange Devante Parker Hunter Henry Jack Jones Kyle Dugger Trent Brown