The Jacksonville Jaguars will be facing a New England Patriots team tonight without Tom Brady and four of the team’s most important players on offense, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Brandin Cooks highlight a list of veteran starters who aren't expected to play tomorrow, per sources.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 9, 2017
Howe is reporting that Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Brandin Cooks are three of the most important players in the Patriots offense, while his article adds Julian Edelman to the list of absentees. Howe previously reported that running back Mike Gillislee will not play due to his hamstring injury.
Our friends at Pats Pulpit are predicting that this opens the way for Dwayne Allen to see more time in place of Gronkowski and for the depth players James O’Shaughnessy, Matt Lengel, and Jacob Hollister to see plenty of opportunities. Those three players are vying for the No. 3 tight end spot.
At receiver, second-year players Malcolm Mitchell and Devin Lucien, and Chris Hogan will be getting increased snaps.
Gillislee’s absence has already opened the door for the likes of Rex Burkhead to have more snaps in short-yardage situation so the position is certainly worth monitoring.