Left guard Logan Mankins was one of four players not spotted during the open access portion of Patriots practice on Friday. Aaron Hernandez, Julian Edelman, and Brandon Deaderick also were missing.
With Mankins missing all three practices this week due to a hip injury, it isn’t looking good for him to play Sunday against Buffalo, which would certainly be a loss against a defensive tackle tandem like Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus.
Potentially one of two moves would be made if Mankins doesn’t play: either Dan Connolly will be kept at right guard and Donald Thomas will play left guard, or Connolly could be flipped to left guard and Thomas play right. Thomas did start at right guard against the Cardinals when Connolly sat out with a concussion, though he did not have his best game.
Hernandez wasn’t expected to play on his sprained ankle, and there isn’t anything known at this point about the extent of Edelman’s hand injury, except that he was wearing a soft cast after Sunday night’s game.
Deaderick (ankle) practiced on Thursday, but may have had a setback since he was not spotted today.
Rookie DL Justin Francis (ankle) returned to practice.