FOXBORO (CBS) — The New England secondary will be missing a key piece when the Patriots close out the regular season against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Safety Kyle Dugger has been ruled out for Week 18 with a hand injury.
The injury kept Dugger off the practice field all week, and the Patriots officially ruled him out on Friday. It will leave a huge void in the secondary, as Dugger has played 77 percent of New England’s defensive snaps this season. He has 92 total tackles and four interceptions over 15 games.
It’s also unclear if reserve defensive back Myles Bryant will make the trip to Miami, as he remains on the NFL’s Reserve/COVID list. He could potentially be activated ahead of Sunday’s game, but he missed all week of practice. That could mean another practice squad elevation for D’Angelo Ross, who was on the active roster last week against Jacksonville.
Nine players were listed as questionable after being limited participants on Friday:
C David Andrews, Shoulder
DL Christian Barmore, Knee
DB Cody Davis, Wrist
K Nick Folk, Left Knee
RB Damien Harris, Hamstring
LB Dont’a Hightower, Knee
WR Jakobi Meyers, Thigh
S Adrian Phillips, Knee
T Isaiah Wynn, Hip
On a more positive note, Nelson Agholor has cleared concussion protocol and was removed from the practice report on Friday. He is ready to go Sunday after missing the last two games. The receiver has 36 receptions on 61 targets this season for 450 yards and three touchdowns.
It will be interesting to see if Kristian Wilkerson makes New England’s game-day roster again after his two-touchdown game against the Jaguars last week. With Agholor back in the mix, Wilkerson may still see the field, potentially in place of N’Keal Harry.
The Dolphins did not list any players their Friday injury report.
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Dolphins game on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins at 11:30am with Patriots GameDay, kickoff is set for 4:25pm, and after the game tune in to TV38 for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!