McCourty, Boyce not spotted at practice

December, 27, 2013
12/27/13
10:48
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots safety Devin McCourty and wide receiver Josh Boyce were absent from practice Friday for the third time this week.

Defensive end Rob Ninkovich, who was added to the team's injury report on Thursday with an ankle injury, was initially not spotted by reporters at practice but said in the locker room later that he was there.

Ninkovich's status for Sunday is unclear, as the severity of the injury is not known. Both McCourty (concussion) and Boyce (ankle) are unlikely to play given that they have not practiced at all this week.

If Ninkovich is unable to play, the Patriots have veteran Andre Carter as a top reserve option, supplemented by rookie Michael Buchanan.

At safety, Duron Harmon is the likely candidate to replace McCourty and play alongside Steve Gregory.

Finally, practice squad running back Cierre Wood was not spotted on the field, though another player wearing No. 39 was.

The Patriots currently have an open spot on the active roster after waiving Marquice Cole on Thursday, but it's unclear if No. 39 has been signed to the active roster or practice squad to replace Wood.
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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