The Patriots listed LB Elandon Roberts as a limited participant Wednesday on the first injury report for the week.
It’s yet more bad news for a New England team that’s already thin at linebacker. Elandon Roberts finds himself the latest casualty in a long string of them so far in 2016, dealing with an apparent ankle injury according to Wednesday’s injury report.. He joins Shea McLellan (concussion) and Jamie Collins (hip) who also saw limited participation in practice.
Linebacker Jonathan Freeny was placed on injured reserve last week as well.
Rookie LB Elandon Roberts (ankle) was a limited participant in today’s practice. He has been impressive the last 2 games.
The team’s inexperience at the position proved a liability in the first half of last Sunday’s contest against the Cincinnati Bengals, with Andy Dalton consistently finding soft spots in the middle of Matt Patricia’s zone defense.
New England rolled out more man-to-man coverage in the second half to compensate. The move worked, but one wonders how long the Patriots can keep their number two rated scoring defense going with an increasingly hobbled linebacking corps.
Facing Landry Jones, rather than Ben Roethlisberger, it will be interesting to see what kind of coverage packages Patricia dials up this week. Will he feel more confident in zone schemes against an inexperienced quarterback who may not know how to exploit them? Or will the Patriots rely more on press-man coverage to jam up Antonio Brown at the line of scrimmage?
Other limited participants for the Patriots:
TE Martellus Bennett – Ankle
RB Brandon Bolden – Knee
WR Julian Edelman – Foot
QB Jimmy Garoppolo – Right Shoulder
DL Woodrow Hamilton – Shoulder
WR Malcolm Mitchell – Hamstring
DL Vincent Valentine – Back
For the Steelers, WR Markus Wheaton (shoulder) and RB DeAngelo Williams (knee) were the notables who did not practice. Safeties Robert Golden and Michael Mitchell, along with LB Ryan Shazier, were listed as limited participants.