Injury Analysis: Patriots vs
By Patriots Insider Staff
The New England Patriots matchup Vs the Pittsburgh Steelers is going to be a tough, physical game. Some of the players who missed the championship game that weren't on either team may not realize how banged up players can get after a matchup like this. Here is the injury list as of Friday's close, notes and updates at end.
The Injury list as of Friday:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (1-1) AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (2-0)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Tully Banta-Cain (knee); WR Andre' Davis (foot); CB Randall Gay (ankle); T Brandon Gorin (thigh); DE Jarvis Green (shoulder); WR Bethel Johnson (thigh); P Josh Miller (shoulder); G Steve Neal (back); CB Tyrone Poole (ankle); S James Sanders (ankle); CB Chad Scott (shoulder); CB Duane Starks (thigh). PROBABLE: QB Tom Brady (right shoulder).
DOUBTFUL: RB Jerome Bettis (calf). QUESTIONABLE: WR Sean Morey (hamstring). PROBABLE: CB Chidi Iwuoma (shoulder); CB Bryant McFadden (calf); QB Ben Roethlisberger (back); RB Duce Staley (knee). CB Deshea Townsend (foot).
Four of the Patriots
on the list didn't fly to Pittsburgh and will not be playing today:
Andre Davis, James Sanders, Tyrone Poole and Randall Gay.
OUT: Definitely will not play.
DOUBTFUL: At least 75 percent chance will not play.
QUESTIONABLE: A 50-50 chance will not play.
PROBABLE: Virtual certainty that player will be available for normal duty.
DE Jarvis Green was banged up headed into last week, and appears on this week's list as well. Green we're told will play, he's just one of those "bumps and bruises" players Belichick refers to.
CBs Tyrone Poole and Randall Gay - Out... ankle injuries will keep them home this week. As of this mornign they are officially out having not made the trip with the team. Look for Starks, Scott and Hobbs to replace them.
CB Duane Starks has been hobbled by a thigh injury he says he's had for a while. Starks saw time last week although he didn't start. This week will be different as both primary CBs are down (Gay and Poole). Starks was the 3rd corner so he gets the nod. His familiarity with the Pittsburgh offense form his days as a Raven is one of the big contributions the Patriots are counting on.
CB Chad Scott, still a bit sore with a shoulder injury, said in the locker room that he expects to be ready to go today. His injury notwithstanding, Scott wouldn't miss a chance to play against the team that cut him thinking he was overpaid and overrated. He should be in on nickel and dime packages.
WR Andre Davis continues to be unavailable due to a leg injury. The knock on Davis in Cleveland was his ability to stay healthy. For the third week in a row, that remains the main concern with the speedy playmaker. Davis didn't make the trip so he's out. Look for Bethel Johnson to get a chance to play if the DB situation works out. It's now more about other positions.
WR Bethel Johnson may get his first action this week. The Patriots need someone to stretch the field who won't get jammed at the line. Tim Dwight was the speedy returner and deep threat the first two weeks. If the numbers permit from other areas, look for Johnson to get in the game. However, we expect him to be a game day inactive.
LB Tully Banta-Cain made the trip. The question now becomes is he really healthy enough to go out there and contribute. The Patriots special teams have been abysmal the last two weeks, and Banta-Cain is on those units. If possible, Banta-Cain will be a go at gametime.
RB Duce Staley may find his way back onto the field today. Staley who has been out with a knee injury has been working hard to return to the lineup. He missed the teams first two games and is dying for a chance to play against the Patriots. Even if Staley can't go, Willie Parker has no trouble picking up the slack.
RB Jerome Bettis will not play today.
WR Sean Morey the Steelers special teams ace has been hurt and is hopeful of a return. He missed practice time toward the end of the week and expects to be a game time decision.
CB Deshea Townsend who has been hampered by a foot injury will be counted on to slow down Patriots Deion Branch. Branch has managed to get his catches the last couple weeks but hasn't gained as much ground after the catch as hoped. The Steelers expect Townsend to be able to continue that trend.
updated information on players and their injuries be sure to check the Hot
News section on The PatriotsInsider.com
HOT NEWS URL: http://patriots.theinsiders.com/7/1.html
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Steelers URL: http://steelers.scout.com