Latest on the status of key Pats and Bills players entering Sunday originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Both the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills could be shorthanded on offense Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
The Bills have already ruled out wide receiver Cole Beasley for the Week 16 matchup after he was placed on the COVID-19/reserve list earlier this week. Fellow Bills wideout Gabriel Davis joined Beasley on the COVID-19/reserve list Friday, and since Beasley and Davis are unvaccinated, they’re both ineligible to play Sunday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
That means Bills quarterback Josh Allen will be without two of his top five pass-catchers in Beasley and Davis, who have combined for 105 receptions and 1,110 yards this season. The Patriots still will have their hands full with wideouts Stefon Diggs and Emmanuel Sanders and tight end Dawson Knox, however.
Perry’s Pats-Bills preview: Clash of contrasting styles comes to a head
Meanwhile, New England could be without several skill players as well. Wide receivers Nelson Agholor (concussion) and Kendrick Bourne (COVID-19/reserve list) and running back Rhamondre Stevenson (illness) all weren’t spotted at the Patriots’ practice Friday, putting their status for Sunday’s game in jeopardy.
UPDATE (4 p.m. ET): Stevenson and Agholor both have been ruled out for Sunday’s game. Check out the full injury report for both teams below.
The good news? The Patriots are hopeful Bourne can be activated by game time, the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan reported Friday. Bourne is vaccinated, so he can be activated within 24 hours of a negative test if he’s not showing any symptoms.
Bourne leads the Patriots with 667 receiving yards while Agholor has 36 catches for 450 yards, so both are crucial to a Patriots passing attack that should be used much more frequently than the teams’ Week 13 matchup in strong winds.
There’s plenty at stake in this game, as the winner will have the inside track on the AFC East title.
Here are the full injury reports for both teams entering Sunday:
New England Patriots (9-5)
WR Nelson Agholor, Concussion
RB Rhamondre Stevenson, Illness
S Joshuah Bledsoe, Calf
C David Andrews, Shoulder
DL Christian Barmore, Knee
LB Ja’Whaun Bentley, Ribs/Ankle
RB Brandon Bolden, Knee
K Nick Folk, Left Knee
RB Damien Harris, Hamstring
WR N’Keal Harry, Hip
S Adrian Phillips, Knee
Buffalo Bills (8-6)