The New England Patriots could have some major issues at defensive tackle, as Tommy Kelly is on the shelf with an injury he suffered last week against the Cincinnati Bengals. Vince Wilfork is already out for the season, an the Patriots look set to lose their other starting DT for this week’s big game against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints offensive line does a great job of protecting Drew Brees, and Kelly is one of the most talented interior pass rushers in the league. Missing him would be a sizeable blow for the Patriots defense, and ESPN Boston’s Field Yates reports that Tommy Kelly did not practice today.
That makes it two straight days in which Kelly has not practiced due to a knee injury, but it is definitely premature to rule Kelly out for Sunday afternoon’s big game. The Patriots have been known to do some strange things with the injury report, but the back-to-back absences are definitely painting a grim picture of Kelly’s chances at playing. If he isn’t able to practice tomorrow, then I would consider him ruled out, especially since the Patriots signed veteran depth at DT in Andre Neblett yesterday.
Rookie linebacker Jamie Collins was also absent at today’s practice, and Yates states that his reason for not being at practice today is not yet known. I bet he’s just getting a day of rest, but let’s just hope that Collins didn’t suffer an injury during yesterday’s practice. On the bright side, fellow rookie Michael Buchanan made his expected return to the practice field today.