FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots tight end situation got a little more precarious Friday when Ryan Izzo missed practice after suffering a concussion during Thursday’s full pads session.
Izzo is the club’s only tight end to play in all six games thus far and his likely absence from Monday night’s game against the Jets at the Meadowlands means the Patriots will have two players at the position making their season debuts.
Ben Watson missed the first four games because of a suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The 14-year veteran has been released and re-signed over the last week but proclaimed himself ready to contribute. He hasn’t played a game since New Orleans’s playoff win over the Philadelphia in January. He missed the NFC Championship game because of a ruptured appendix.
“It’s been a while, so I’m excited to play in a real football game [on] Monday night, no less,’’ Watson said. “It doesn’t get any bigger than that, so I’m definitely looking forward to playing a real football game against a real opponent on live TV. It’s going to be really exciting.’’
Watson last suited up for a regular-season Patriots game in 2009.
The Patriots also could employ Eric Tomlinson at the position. The four-year veteran, who signed this week, is known for his blocking prowess. In 39 career games, Tomlinson has 16 catches for 193 yards.
No matter what happens Monday night against the Jets, a team he played for from 2016-18, this week has been a memorable one.
Tomlinson signed with the Patriots on Tuesday, practiced that afternoon, then hopped on a flight back to Houston for the birth of his son, Stone, who arrived early Wednesday morning. He jumped back on another flight and practiced Thursday and Friday.
“It’s been a quick adjustment,’’ a beaming Tomlinson said. “Just have to get in the playbook, stay in the playbook, and get ready for this week.’’
The Patriots are shorthanded at tight end and fullback, with James Develin and Jakob Johnson on injured reserve, so Tomlinson might have to pull double duty.
“On my previous teams, I’ve done both,’’ he said. “I feel comfortable doing both.’’
Jets coach Adam Gase said no matter the Patriots situation at tight end, the club will adjust and make do.
“I always look at it like this, with just working for Josh [McDaniels] and kind of playing these guys, they’re going to use who’s available to them,’’ he said. “They do such a good job of finding roles for guys, even if they bring them in for a week. If they don’t feel good about one position, they’ll use another position to kind of take over. If they don’t feel like they’re good at tight end, they’ll use more running backs or more wide receivers. They always find a way to maximize whatever players they have active.’’
Gordon, LaCosse likely out
In addition to Izzo, receiver Josh Gordon (knee, ankle) and tight end Matt LaCosse (knee) were absent from practice, putting their availability for the Jets game in serious doubt. Both players were seen in the locker room at different times during the week . . . Julian Edelman (chest), Phillip Dorsett (hamstring), Rex Burkhead (foot), and Patrick Chung (heel, chest) were again limited at practice . . . Additionally, defensive lineman Michael Bennett (suspension) was not at practice and won’t play Monday . . . Stephon Gilmore will again likely draw the assignment of shadowing Robby Anderson, New York’s top receiver. Anderson has an excellent rapport with Sam Darnold, and the two hooked up on a 92-yard touchdown last week against the Cowboys. “He’s a great receiver,’’ said Gilmore. “You know, it’s a new week. You’ve got to prove yourself each and every week. I’m looking forward to playing against him and doing the best I can to win our matchup . . . Deatrich Wise Jr. was named as the NFLPA’s Week 6 Community MVP. The third-year defensive end hosted a free block party for 500 at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mattapan. He also pledged to donate $10,000 back to the community . . . Bill Belichick is 18-8 on “Monday Night Football” during his tenure as Patriots coach. Tom Brady is 16-7 on “MNF” and has won three of his last four in the league’s marquee game.
Kalil may be out for Jets
Jets center Ryan Kalil injured a shoulder during practice Thursday and could miss the game. Coach Adam Gase initially said Kalil wouldn’t practice Friday, but the 34-year-old veteran participated on a limited basis. Jonotthan Harrison would start at center if Kalil can’t play. Harrison was the projected starter until Kalil came out of retirement and signed with the Jets in August. New York could be without another starter on the offensive line as left tackle Kelvin Beachum didn’t practice for the second straight day with an ankle injury. Linebacker C.J. Mosley also was a limited participant in team drills Friday, the latest step in his progress from a groin injury that has sidelined him since the season opener . . . Jets left guard Kelechi Osemele says he needs a season-ending operation on his shoulder and is waiting for the team to authorize the procedure. The team, however, wants him on the field. Osemele said the team doctor and an independent doctor in California have both recommended the surgery for a torn labrum. But a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press both doctors determined it is actually a pre-existing injury and cleared Osemele to play through the injury — and possibly have surgery in the offseason.