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Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore is questionable to play Sunday

Stephon Gilmore missed the last practice of the week, which is not a good sign for his playing status Sunday.
Stephon Gilmore missed the last practice of the week, which is not a good sign for his playing status Sunday.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

The road to Buffalo got a little bumpier for the Patriots when cornerback Stephon Gilmore missed Friday’s practice after tweaking a knee during Thursday’s session.

According to an NFL Media report, Gilmore had a precautionary MRI and the injury isn’t considered serious. He’s listed as questionable, though players who miss the last practice of the week more often than not don’t make the game-day roster.

Though New England is deep at corner, replacing the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year would be no easy task. It’s likely Gilmore would have been assigned to shadow Stefon Diggs, the Bills’ top receiving threat.

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Bill Belichick noted earlier in the week that Gilmore has excelled in both man and zone coverage.

“We’ve changed up what he does based on our game plan and who we’re matched up against, the team we’re playing that particular week,” the coach said. “But he’s a very flexible player that understands what we’re trying to do and how it all fits together and works hard to do his part in it.”

J.C. Jackson, who is also listed as questionable after popping up on Friday’s injury report with a knee problem, could draw the Diggs assignment, or it could be a mix of Jackson, Jason McCourty, and Jonathan Jones.

New England also has Myles Bryant and Joejuan Williams at the position. In addition, practice squadders Michael Jackson and D’Angelo Ross could be elevated.

“He’s a big key to what we do," said Jones. "Someone we depend on in the secondary to go out week after week to do his job. But, we have a lot of guys who are ready to play and ready to step up if he can’t go or whatever it might be. But we depend on Steph in the back end to help us.”

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Folk gets to core of the cold

Everyone knows the adage (and old TV show) “Father Knows Best.” Everyone also knows that mother knows a thing or two. And that’s especially true for Nick Folk’s mom.

With weather expected to be less than ideal Sunday in Western New York, the Patriots kicker was asked how he deals with the elements, specifically keeping his feet warm in the cold and snow. The 13-year veteran’s answer was a bit more intricate than “wear thick socks.”

He started with some basic common sense before he took an unexpected turn.

“When you’re not warm, your body is not warm, your feet aren’t warm, and then you hit that cold ball, that’s when your feet hurt,” he said. “So, luckily we have these benches out here that have the heat, the heat comes up from the bottom as well. You can put your feet in them.

"I try to wear those booties if I can, keep dry. Those kind of keep your feet a little bit warm as well.

“And then, I mean the most important thing, this is probably very scientific — and I got this from my mom, who is a doctor — if you keep your core warm, your extremities stay warm. When you get cold, your blood goes back to your vital organs to keep you alive, and you can live without fingers and toes.

"So, if you can keep your core warm, your fingers and toes will stay warmer as well. So, I’ll try to do as much as I can on that front too.”

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Umm, thanks Mom.

Harry is also out Sunday

In addition to Julian Edelman (knee), the Patriots declared receiver N’Keal Harry out, as the second-year receiver continues to progress through the concussion protocol after absorbing a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit from San Francisco’s Tarvarius Moore … Defensive tackle Carl Davis (concussion) also is out … The list of players who were limited and therefore questionable is as lengthy as it’s been in years. In addition to Jackson, tight end Dalton Keene (knee) was added Friday. The rest: LB Shilique Calhoun (knee), safety Kyle Dugger (ankle), DE John Simon (shoulder), DT Lawrence Guy (ankle), RB Damien Harris (ankle), and OLs Joe Thuney (ankle), Shaq Mason (calf), and Justin Herron (ankle) … The Bills ruled out guard Cody Ford (knee) and corner Josh Norman (hamstring) … After Sunday, the Patriots' next two games will be in prime time: at the Meadowlands against the Jets on “Monday Night Football” Nov. 9 and vs. the Ravens on “Sunday Night Football” Nov. 15.


Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.