The Green Bay Packers might be getting lucky on the injury front, particularly as it relates to the availability of a few of their opponents’ key players this week. While the Packers should be pretty healthy, minus the injury to wide receiver Geronimo Allison, the New England Patriots have already ruled one offensive starter out for Sunday night’s game — right guard Shaq Mason — and are reportedly concerned about whether a few of their game-time decisions can suit up.
On Friday, New England ruled a whopping 13 players as Questionable for the game, but the most critical names are the team’s starting tight end and running back: Rob Gronkowski and Sony Michel. Both players are dealing with significant injuries and have missed time this year, Michel sitting out last Monday’s win over Buffalo and Gronk sitting out two weeks ago against the Chicago Bears.
Now, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the two very well might be unable to suit up this evening:
Patriots will test TE Rob Gronkowski (back) and RB Sony Michel (knee) pregame, but there is concern about whether both players listed as questionable will be able to play tonight vs Packers, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 4, 2018
If one or both players cannot play tonight, that should make the job easier for the Packers’ defense and coordinator Mike Pettine. Gronk has not looked like his old self this season as he deals with this back issue, but he remains a huge target who is on pace for 960 receiving yards. Meanwhile, Michel has taken hold of the starting running back job, getting most of the carries and runs between the tackles.
The Packers’ safeties might benefit most from a potential Gronkowski absence today, particularly as the team replaces Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who was traded to Washington on Tuesday. Gronk hurt the Packers with seven catches for 98 yards in the teams’ last meeting in 2014.
Keep a close eye on the inactives report, which will come out about 90 minutes prior to kickoff to see if these two players will suit up.