The Patriots have placed center David Andrews and rookie linebacker Josh Uche on injured reserve, a league source confirmed to the Globe’s Jim McBride.
Andrews, who recently underwent surgery to repair a broken right thumb, did not participate in practice all week. He wore a hard cast on Thursday and sported a different wrap on Friday. Despite his injury, Andrews attempted a few snaps with his left hand, though they were unsuccessful.
He missed the entire 2019 season after being diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs.
To account for the void at center, James Ferentz has been signed to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. Guard Hjalte Froholdt is also an option.
Uche, drafted in the second round with the 60th overall pick this April, has yet to make his NFL debut; he was inactive for Weeks 1 and 2. Uche was dealing with an ankle injury last week, and a foot injury kept him sidelined during practice this past week.
Under the rules for this season, a player can return from injured reserve after missing only three weeks, down from six weeks of practice and eight weeks of games. There is no limit on the number of players that can be pulled back from IR.
On Saturday, the Patriots also temporarily elevated defensive tackle Nick Thurman and wide receiver Isaiah Zuber from the practice squad to the active list. Thurman was also activated last week, which means he has reached the maximum number of temporary elevations (2) from the practice squad. If the Patriots want Thurman to be available for future games, they must sign him to an NFL contract.
Josh Jacobs will take a disciplined attack
Defensive tackle Lawrence Guy stressed the importance of fundamentals when preparing for the challenge of bringing down Raiders running back Josh Jacobs.
“We’ve seen him for the last year or so just break tackles and get through the line, so he’s one of those really good backs where we have to do our jobs,” Guy said. “If we don’t do that, you’re going to see him get through the line, and that’s not what we want to happen.”
Jacobs practiced for the first time this week on Friday, and is questionable for Sunday’s game with a hip injury. Through two games, he has rushed for 181 yards and three touchdowns. Last season, as a rookie, he rushed for 1,150 yards, with an average of 4.8 yards per carry.
New England’s defense gave up 154 rushing yards to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2, which Guy attributed to a breakdown in the unit’s fundamentals. To be effective, Guy said the defensive line needs to focus on limiting the run before trying to control aspects of the passing game.
“That’s the only way to play up front,” Guy said. “Go first and second downs. That’s why they pay running backs to move the ball and that’s why they pay D-linemen to stop the run, so we’ve got to continue to stack those and get better on what we did last week.”
With Jacobs, Guy stressed the importance of tackling him at the first opportunity.
“You see it on film,” Guy said. “He breaks tackles. He’s got a nice spin move, a good, firm stiff arm, and he can run though his pads. He’s one of those backs we understand we have to get a good wrap on. We have to drive our feet and we have to do the best we can to get him on the ground.”
Cam Newton’s not worried about numbers
Quarterback Cam Newton has completed 71.4 percent of his passes through his first two games, but the stat doesn’t seem to get him all that excited.
“That’s cute,” Newton said, "but we want to win.”
Winning is Newton’s focus right now. He’s not preoccupied with his individual numbers, nor is he stressed about the status of his next contract.
“We got too many people worried about chasing the bag,” he said. “If you do what you’re supposed to do, everything will take care of itself. For right now, my main focus is trying to make sure that I am the best quarterback for the New England Patriots as I could possibly be. That’s where my head has been and that’s where it’s going to stay.”
Newton also isn’t paying much attention to the chatter surrounding the Patriots.
“I don’t necessarily get caught up in trying to meet other people’s requirements or validations, so to speak, when I have my hands full trying to be as coachable as possible and being as accessible to this team as I need to be,” he said.
Breonna Taylor decision stirs Patriots
The Patriots are among those processing the grand jury decision in the case of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman shot and killed in her apartment by Louisville, Ky., police officers.
“It’s kind of disappointing,” said linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley. “We have a long way to go, I feel like we have a long way to go as a country. But we won’t stop working. We won’t stop working. We will continue to try to do what we can to better things around here. But it was definitely not a happy thing to hear for sure.”
On Wednesday, Kentucky’s attorney general, Daniel Cameron, said the two officers who shot Taylor were justified because her boyfriend fired a weapon first. They were not charged with any crimes. A third officer was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for firing shots that reached a neighboring apartment.
Bentley indicated that the Patriots will continue to stay active not only in response to the verdict in Taylor’s case, but in the fight against racial inequality and social injustice.
“We obviously recognize that there has been a great, great problem, and it still is a great problem that’s happening,” he said. “We recognize it as a team. We plan on taking action.”
Newton also offered extensive thoughts on the situation, preaching for respect and accountability.
“You’re speechless,” he said. "At the end of the day, I just pray that we all find it in our heart to do better. No matter what happens in that specific case — because it’s out of pretty much everybody’s hands, outside of the necessary people — let this be a situation that we all can empathize with.
“No matter if you’re going to a grocery store, no matter if you’re going to a gas station, let’s just do right by people. Us humans alike. I think that’s pretty much how I feel. That’s my stance. I just know that we all have a due diligence on this earth to do right by mankind, and I’m just one of those servants that wants to uphold my end of the bargain.”
NFL fines Quandre Diggs for N’Keal Harry hit
Per a league source, Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs was fined $15,000 for unnecessary roughness for his hit on N’Keal Harry last week that drew an ejection. Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett was not fined for his illegal blindside block in the first quarter.