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Report: Pats' Matthew Slater hurt shin running into photographer

Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater didn't practice Wednesday because of a shin injury he reportedly suffered when he ran into a photographer in Saturday's divisional playoff win over the Chiefs.

There was some initial confusion Wednesday on Slater's status.

On the official injury report submitted by the Patriots with the NFL, the team initially ruled Slater out by mistake for Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Denver Broncos. That was corrected shortly thereafter.

Teams aren't required to list the game status of players until two days before a game, only their level of participation in practice.

According to Comcast Sportsnet New England, Slater was injured in the second quarter of the Patriots' 27-20 win when he ran into an NFL Films photographer after attempting to evade a double-team block on the New England punt-coverage team.

The Chiefs' Jamell Fleming, as he was blocking Slater and the two drifted out of bounds, shoved Slater as he advanced up the field toward the punt returner, the Comcast New England report said. Slater also ran into a second photographer, according to the report.

Fleming's shove could have been ruled a penalty had it been seen by an official, according to NFL rules.

Both photographers were stationed in an area of the field they were permitted to be in, the report said.

Slater did not miss any time Saturday because of the injury. A five-time Pro Bowler, he was the lone player for the Patriots not to practice Wednesday.

The Patriots listed 20 of the 52 players on their roster on their injury report, with 15 players limited. Perhaps with the injury situation in mind, head coach Bill Belichick scaled things back at practice, holding only a light walk-through that was more mental work than physical work.

Information from ESPN staff writer Mike Reiss was used in this report.