Preview: Patriots to open preseason against ‘Skins


Aug 6, 2014; Richmond, VA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) talks with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (right) during joint practice with the Washington Redskins on day twelve at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Preseason: Week 1

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Location: FedEx Field

New England Patriots defensive tackle Sealver Siliga and tight end D.J. Williams both suffered injuries in Tuesday’s practice. They were held out of Wednesday’s walk-through with the Washington Redskins ahead of Thursday’s preseason opener, according to numerous sources.

Siliga was seen sporting a cast on his left hand Wednesday. He’ll have further tests done to determine the exact ailment. Williams was seen wearing a brace on his lower right leg. Neither player is expected to participate come game time.

Starting tight end Rob Gronkowski will also be sitting out. Gronk’s back-up, Michael Hoomanawanui, has also been limited in practice. It’s not known what his status will be. With that said, rookie tight ends Justin Jones and Asa Watson will see a great deal of playing time.

In regards to the ‘Skins, receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson will both likely be held out of the preseason opener at FedEx Field. Garcon is nursing a nagging hamstring injury. Jackson reportedly rolled his ankle in Wednesday’s practice.

Given Washington’s banged up receiving corps, Patriots corner Darrelle Revis could see very little to no action at all. He was likely going to cover Jackson for at least a few series, but it’s not imperative that Revis takes the field in such a meaningless game.

Brandon Browner on the other hand could see a fair share of time. He’s been working overtime in practice. He would benefit from the extra game repetitions as he’s set to serve a four-game suspension upon the season’s start.

Veterans Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly will be limited. Both are coming off major injuries. New England has a handful of others who they’ll mix in over the course of the game along the interior defensive line.

New England’s offensive line will be worth keeping a close eye on. It’s seems as if every spot is up for grabs with the exception of Nate Solder and Logan Mankins on the left side. Marcus Cannon, Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell, Josh Kline and Sebastian Vollmer are all vying for starting roles.

Quarterback Tom Brady is expected to play minimally. Ryan Mallet will get the majority of the snaps for the Patriots. He’s excited about the opportunity and hopes to impress, considering his chances have been few and far between since joining the club.

Brandon LaFell is another guy who enters the game with a lot to prove. Things have been fairly quiet in regards to him this training camp. He played primarily the slot in Carolina. New England will look to use him on the outside. Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson are his main competition. Where Lafell lines up and who he plays alongside will go a long way in illustrating his current standing within the offensive depth chart.

The Patriots and ‘Skins will kick things off at 7:30 p.m. WBZ-TV will be airing the game for local viewers. Dan Roche and Christian Fauria will call the game.