BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots hit the practice field behind Gillette Stadium on Wednesday for the first time since their embarrassing Week 1 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
They did so with a pair of key players missing.
Linebacker Dont’a Hightower and receiver Danny Amendola were absent from Wednesday’s practice, as both are dealing with injuries they suffered last Thursday. Hightower left in the second half of New England’s loss after having his knee rolled up on, while Amendola left with a concussion he suffered on a punt return.
Hightower has dealt with knee issues in the past, and as a result, the Patriots limited his workload in practice. With 10 days off between New England’s season-opener and their Week 2 matchup with the Saints, it’s believed the defensive co-captain has a shot at suiting up in New Orleans, which is great news for the New England defense.
Amendola is a little more worrisome, as The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe notes that his absence means he is still in the NFL’s concussion protocol. If Amendola has to miss Sunday’s game against the Saints, Tom Brady will be down another one of his reliable receivers and the Patriots will have to find someone else to return punts.
Defensive lineman Vincent Valentine, who missed Week 1’s loss with a knee injury, also missed Wednesday’s practice. We’ll get a clearer picture on New England’s absences when the first practice report of the week is released later this afternoon.