Friday, January 11, 2013
Patriots healthy entering playoffs
By Mike Rodak ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots made a massive overhaul to their injury report on Friday, removing 15 players who had been listed as limited in Thursday's session.
Another five players -- cornerbacks Marquice Cole (finger) and Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring/knee), tight end Rob Gronkowski (forearm/hip), guard Nick McDonald (shoulder), and defensive end Trevor Scott (knee) -- are all listed as probable with full participation in Friday's practice.
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Among the 15 players removed from the injury report are defensive end Rob Ninkovich (hip), guard Logan Mankins (ankle/calf), and linebacker Brandon Spikes (knee/ankle), although Spikes had continued to ride a stationary bike at the start of practice as recently as this week.
The Patriots had listed nearly half their roster (20 players) as limited on both Wednesday and Thursday, and have typically listed limited players as questionable this season, so their removal from the injury report entirely represents a significant upgrade in their health status from Thursday to Friday.
It's unclear if the Patriots faced pressure from the NFL to change their injury report, while it's also unclear if the Houston Texans, the Patriots' opponent on Sunday in the divisional playoffs, had raised any complaints.
If nothing else, Friday's injury report sends a message that the Patriots are almost fully healthy heading into Sunday's game.
Mike Rodak is a regular contributor to ESPNBoston.com