Reinforcements will not be on the way for the Patriots’ woeful offense.
After New England was shut out by the Chargers on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots will be without two key playmakers for Thursday’s road matchup against the Steelers.
In their latest injury report released on Wednesday evening, the Patriots ruled out five players for Week 14: wide receivers Demario Douglas (head) and Kayshon Boutte (shoulder), running back Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle), cornerback Shaun Wade (illness), and offensive tackle Riley Reiff (knee).
New England also listed four more players as questionable for Thursday’s game: Defensive tackle Christian Barmore (shoulder), offensive tackle Trent Brown (ankle/hand) and wide receivers DeVante Parker (knee) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (ankle).
The Patriots are already saddled with the worst offense in the NFL, averaging just 12.3 points per game. But the absences of Douglas and Stevenson will further hamper Bailey Zappe and a New England roster looking to snap a five-game losing streak.
Stevenson’s status isn’t exactly much of a surprise, especially after the running back went down with an ankle injury during Sunday’s loss to the Chargers. On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Stevenson is set to miss “a few weeks” with a high ankle sprain.
Douglas was injured during New England’s 10-7 loss to the Giants on Nov. 26, with the rookie clotheslined by Giants linebacker Cam Brown during a punt return in the fourth quarter of play.
With both Smith-Schuster and Parker also listed as questionable, the only healthy wideouts currently on New England’s roster are Tyquan Thornton and Jalen Reagor.
Conor Ryan can be reached at email@example.com.