JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers and safety Patrick Chung left Sunday’s game against the Jaguars and were ruled out with concussions.
Flowers’s injury happened midway through the opening frame on a collision with teammate Keionta Davis. It appeared Davis’s knee hit Flowers in the back of the head.
Flowers lay motionless on the field for several moments with trainers attending to him on the field. He eventually sat up and walked off slowly under his own power, going straight to the blue medical tent. He went to the locker room soon after.
On the following Jaguars drive, Deatrich Wise replaced Flowers on first down.
The Patriots have Wise, Davis, Adrian Clayborn, and Geneo Grissom, who mostly plays special teams, available as defensive ends. Derek Rivers is inactive.
Chung was ruled out mid-game with a concussion.
It wasn’t obvious when Chung got hurt, but he wasn’t on the field to start the second half.
Chung was on the field at the end of the first half, and was trailing well behind Jaguars tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins on his touchdown with 14 seconds remaining before halftime. It looked as though Jacksonville wide receiver Dede Westbrook had put a solid block on Chung at the line of scrimmage to give Seferian-Jenkins space.
With Chung out, the Patriots reverted to using cornerback Eric Rowe in situations when the Patriots wanted six defensive backs on the field. Rowe had been benched after getting burned repeatedly by wide receiver Keelan Cole in the first half.
Comeback for Britt?
Is a Kenny Britt reunion in the offing?
According to NFL Media, the Patriots will have Britt in for a workout Monday, ostensibly to see where he is as he continues to recuperate from the hamstring tear he suffered in minicamp.
Britt signed with the Patriots last season and played in three games, collecting two catches for 23 yards. He looked very sharp during the spring until suffering the injury running a deep sideline route at the second-to-last minicamp workout.
The 6-foot-3-inch, 228-pound Britt would give the Patriots the big receiver they’ve lacked and he wouldn’t need a ton of time to get reacclimated with the offense.
Receiving depth has been a consistent story since the summer, with the Patriots parting ways with Malcolm Mitchell, Jordan Matthews, Britt, and Eric Decker. In addition, the team signed Corey Coleman and Bennie Fowler (since released) last week.
Britt, who had a 1,000-yard receiving season in 2016 and was very popular among his teammates, said he was “feeling OK” just days before his release but also talked about how tricky hamstring injuries can be.
“You never know with a hamstring. One day you’ll feel good and then [you’ll feel] something popping,’’ Britt said Aug. 19. “Other days you might feel bad and that might be the fastest time that you ran out there. So, it’s really a feel thing, day in and day out.’’
If it’s feeling really good Monday, Britt could give the Patriots offense, which will be without the suspended Julian Edelman until Week 5, a big boost literally and figuratively.
In the 31-13 loss to Jacksonville on Sunday, Tom Brady didn’t complete a pass to a receiver until the second quarter. Phillip Dorsett (5 catches, 44 yards), Chris Hogan (3, 42 yards), and Cordarrelle Patterson (3, 18 yards) were the only receivers active for New England.
Barner among inactives
Kenjon Barner, who appeared to be a prime candidate for punt return duty, headlined New England’s list of inactives. Barner served as the Eagles main returner last season but will have to wait at least another week to make his Patriots debut.
Receiver Coleman also was inactive, meaning all three of last week’s signings (receiver Fowler was released Saturday) were a nonfactor. The other Patriots inactives were rookie cornerbacks J.C. Jackson and Keion Crossen; defensive end Rivers; guard Brian Schwenke; and right tackle Marcus Cannon.
The Jaguars were without monster truck tailback Leonard Fournette, who couldn’t recover from the hamstring injury he suffered in the opener.
Also inactive for Jacksonville were linebacker Leon Jacobs; defensive tackle Eli Ankou; offensive linemen Chris Reed, Josh Walker, and Will Richardson; and defensive end Dawuane Smoot.
First helmet call
The Patriots had their first interaction with the NFL’s new helmet rule.
It came on second and 5 with 4:14 to go before halftime and worked in the Patriots favor, with Jacksonville linebacker Telvin Smith Sr. called for lowering his head to initiate contact while tackling Hogan.
Hogan caught a 6-yard pass over the middle from Brady.
It was a hard hit but looked like a tough call. Smith hadn’t been called for what looked like a hold on Rob Gronkowski earlier in the game.
The helmet rule wasn’t called in the Patriots’ Week 1 game against the Texans. Though it was a hot topic during the preseason, when officials were intentionally over-calling it, it has not been a major issue so far this season, particularly as the league clarified that incidental contact shouldn’t be called.
Old helmet for Brady
Brady switched back to his old helmet for the game after using his new one last week . . . A plane with a banner reading “Myles Jack wasn’t down” circled TIAA Bank Field during warmups . . . Jacob Hollister’s 23-yard catch on the first drive was the longest catch of the tight end’s career . . . The announced temperature at game time was 97, with a 107 heat index . . . It was the hottest kickoff temperature in Patriots history, eclipsing the 94 degrees in Phoenix on Sept. 29, 1991 . . . Brady’s 10-yard run was his longest since a 15-yarder in Buffalo in 2016. His career long is a 22-yarder coming in 2006 at Cincinnati . . . The Patriots allowed their opponent to score a touchdown on their opening drive for the first time in 11 games.
Nora Princiotti can be reached at email@example.com.