According to ExtraPoint’s Michael Vega, there was some shuffling on the injury report after Thursday’s practice. The big story for the New England Patriots will be the return of their star linebacker, Jerod Mayo. Mayo had been absent from practice on Wednesday nursing an elbow injury, leaving some to question whether he would be available on Sunday in London. Later it was reported that is was a combination of “illness” and the elbow injury that had kept him off the field. He was back and fully participated in practice on Thursday. Here is Mayo on getting a win against the Rams on Sunday,
“It is very critical,” Mayo said. “We always talk about stringing them together and this a time where you have to start stringing wins together. We haven’t fared too well against NFC West teams so hopefully we can get this one.”
The report was not all good news, with a handful of players not practicing for the second consecutive day, including cornerback Ras-I Dowling (thigh), safety Steve Gregory (hip), running back Brandon Bolden (knee), linebacker Tracy White (foot), and defensive end Trevor Scott (hamstring). The only substantial injury from that list is Brandon Bolden, who is the secondary back to Stevan Ridely. With Bolden out, expect to see a heavier dose of Shane Vereen, who got 8 rushes for 49 yards against the New York Jets.
The most troubling news may be the absence of Aaron Hernandez from practice on Thursday. Hernandez is still dealing with the lingering ankle injury that has slowed him throughout the season. Herdandez has played in only four games this season after receiving the monster contract to keep him and fellow tight end, Rob Gronkowski, in New England for a long, long time. Against a surprisingly strong New York defense, Herdandez was the third leading receiver, behind Welker and Gronk, with 5 receptions for 54 yards on only 7 targets from Tom Brady. If Hernandez is ruled out for Sunday, then that is one less big body the St. Louis Rams will have to cover on defense. Brandon Lloyd has shown that he can be kept out of games with tough man-to-man defense, and the St. Louis Rams are likely the most prepared team in the league when it comes to covering Wes Welker, considering they go up against Danny Amendola every week in practice.