Patriots prep for Texans amid roster moves; O-line an area of concern

NFL New England

FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The Patriots are preparing to face the Texans this Sunday in Houston. Both teams are 1-3 on the season, looking to turn things around starting in Week 5.

“We know what needs to be done. We know where we are right now. We know our record. We know how it looks,” said linebacker Matt Judon. “The energy’s high. We’re not getting down on ourselves. We’re not moping, dragging our feet. We’re getting right after it. We know what our record is… but we know what we have in this locker room.”

They’ll potentially be without four of their five starting offensive lineman. Trent Brown and Shaq Mason did not practice Wednesday or Thursday due to injuries. In addition, Mike Onwenu and Isaiah Wynn were placed on the COVID list.

“It’s definitely not an ideal situation but we’re working really hard. We have a great, deep room on the offensive line. You have to play your technique well and it comes down to… it’s an opportunity to be in the game when normally maybe we wouldn’t and to show what we can do and contribute to the team and ultimately, hopefully contribute to a victory,” said offensive lineman Ted Karras.

In addition to preparing for the Texans, the Patriots have been making some major roster moves this week. Wednesday morning, the Patriots and all-pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore announced they were parting ways.

“There have been a number of things that have gone on for a long period of time and finally we just mutually reached the point that we reached. I absolutely appreciate and feel strongly about the player and the person. Unfortunately, like I said, we decided to part ways. Don’t have any other comment on that right now,” said head coach Bill Belichick.

The former defensive player of the year has spent the start of the 2021 season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

“That’s one of my best friends, so obviously I was looking forward to it, but it didn’t work out and knowing him… he’s going to bounce back. He’s elite at what he does and I’m looking forward to supporting him where he goes and plays high level football like always,” said linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

He is eligible to return after Week 6, it just will not be with the Patriots. Gilmore has been traded to the Carolina Panthers for a 2023 sixth-round pick.

In addition to the Gilmore move, the Patriots have signed linebacker Jamie Collins following his release from Detroit at the end of September. This marks Collins’ third stint with the team.

“He made so many plays for this organization, this team and this defense. I’m happy. I’m excited,” Judon said of Collins. “He always played great as a Patriot.”

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