Jeremy Hill Has Torn ACL
RB Jeremy Hill, who left the game Sunday with a knee injury, has a torn ACL and is out for the season. This loss is a big one for the Pats because they let Mike Gillislee go on cutdown day. Rex Burkhead carried the ball 18 times for 64 yards Sunday. James White was a non-factor with only five carries for 18 yards. The Pats have James White, Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel at running back. Rookie RB Ralph Webb could be activated from the practice squad.
“We didn't have too much choice on it with the nature of the injury, but yeah, of course it's disappointing for him and for our team. Jeremy worked hard. He embraced his roles offensively and in the kicking game,“ Belichick said.
“He really showed a lot of improvement over the course of the spring and into training camp and opening day. He gave us a couple of big runs there before the half last week to get us started on a two-minute drive, so we're obviously disappointed for him. But he's a tough kid, I know he'll work hard and I'm sure he'll be back.“
Pats Sign Bennie Fowler and Corey Coleman
The receiver carosouel continues with signing of Fowler and Coleman who combined for 52 catches last season. Coleman, a 2016 first round pick, is now on his third team. Fowler, an undrafted free agent, had 56 catches in three season with the Denver Broncos.
The Pats released receivers Chad Hansen and Riley McCarron who muffed a critical fourth quarter punt.
The Pats have released eight receivers since training camp began. Aside from Hansen and McCarron, the Pats have released Eric Decker, Malcolm Mitchell, Jordan Matthews, Kenny Britt, Devin Lucien and Paul Turner.
Per source, Dez Bryant is unlikely to join the team because there is a perception that he is a difficult player to coach and manage in the locker room. Given Bryant’s desire to join the team as stated on twitter Sunday, he would likely accept a reasonable offer from the Pats. Bryant also seems antsy to play so money probably would not be the hang up in him joining the Pats.
Nickel Was the Defense of Choice
The Pats played nickel defense almost the whole way - mostly using three defensive linemen and three linebackers with five defensive backs. The Pats used six defensive backs for most of the game with Stephon Gilmore, Eric Rowe, Jonathan Jones, Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, and Patrick Chung. Jason McCourty only played six snaps. McCoutry recently lowered his base salary and added incentives that will likely be difficult to reach given his play time Sunday. If McCourty didn’t accept a lower base salary, he likely would have been released.
The front six was a rotation with LBs Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy and rookie Ja’Whaun Bentley. The defensive linemen were Trey Flowers, Danny Shelton and Malcom Brown. Also worked into the rotation in were Deatrich Wise, Adrian Clayborn (only 22 snaps), Keionta Davis (played 35 out of possible 74 defensive snaps) Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler and Elandon Roberts.
CB Stephon Gilmore Limits The Production of Houton WR DeAndre Hopkins
Gilmore said the goal was to vary the coverages so Houston QB Deshaun Watson would be confused about the type of defense the Pats played.
Gilmore turned Hopkins into a non-factor in the first half. The Texans got the ball to Hopkins more in the second half with some wide receiver screens. Hopkins finished with eight catches for 78 yards.
Rotation at Right Tackle
As first reports by Pats Maven and confirmed by tape, Marcus Cannon and LaAdrian Waddle rotated at right tackle.
“We tried to help each other out,“ Cannon said. “We would tell each other things we saw when we came to the sideline.”
Trent Brown looked strong at left tackle.
Houston moves around their two best rushers Jadeveon Clooney and J.J. Watt.
Deshaun Watson is Fine
Watson struggled to get up after his final Hail Mary fell incomplete. He needed assistance getting up.
Watson had a cramp and was fine after the game.
Texans RT Seantrel Harrison is out for the season.
The Pats inactives were rookie RB Sony Michel, DE Derek Rivers, CB Keion Crossen, CB J.C. Jackson, OL Brian Schwenke, TE Jacob Hollister and WR Chad Hansen.
The Pats face the Jaguars next Sunday in Jacksonville at 4:25 p.m.