FOXBORO (CBS) — The Patriots offense was having enough problems with the majority of their starting offensive line intact. Now it looks like New England will have to rely on an O-line comprised mostly of backups come Sunday afternoon against the Texans.

The Patriots offensive line was missing four starters at practice for the second straight on Thursday, with Trent Brown (calf), Shaq Mason (abdomen), Isaiah Wynn (COVID-19 list), and Mike Onwenu (COVID-19 list) all absent. It’s unclear if Wynn or Onwenu tested positive for COVID-19 or were deemed close contacts, so their status for Sunday’s game probably won’t be known until the team departs for Houston on Saturday.

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Brown hasn’t played since Week 1 and has practiced sporadically since. Missing a second day of practice does not bode well for his chances of playing against the Texans. The same goes for Mason, who has played 100 percent of New England’s offensive snaps so far this season.

If all four linemen are missing on Sunday, center David Andrews would be the only starting lineman out there protecting Mac Jones. Andrews would likely be surrounded with reserves Yasir Durant, Justin Herron and Ted Karras, with James Ferentz a candidate to be promoted off the practice squad.

That would not be ideal for Jones, who has been getting pummeled this season, or the New England run game, which is looking to get going after rushing for negative-four yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

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Here is New England’s practice report from Thursday (Wynn and Onwenu are not on it as they are on the COVID list):

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
T Trent Brown, Calf
G Shaq Mason, Abdomen
LB Kyle Van Noy, Groin
CB Shaun Wade, Concussion

LIMITED AVAILABILITY
LB Ja’Whaun Bentley, Shoulder
DB Cody Davis, Knee
S Kyle Dugger, Hamstring
K Nick Folk, Left Knee
CB Jonathan Jones, Ankle
DB Jalen Mills, Hamstring
LB Ronnie Perkins, Ankle

Corner Shaun Wade is the only new addition to the report, missing Thursday’s practice with a concussion.

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Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Texans showdown on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay, kickoff is set for 1 p.m., and after the game tune in to Patriots 5th Quarter — all on WBZ-TV!

CBSBoston.com Staff