New England Patriots: Patriots Limp Into AFC Title Game

The New England Patriots will be playing the AFC Championship game in front of their home fans on Sunday, but they will be doing so with a hobbled lineup as they attempt to become the first NFL team to play in nine Super Bowls.

On Friday, the team announced it’s injury report and it bears monitoring before the teams get ready to kick off.

The report, listed on the team’s website, is as follows:

OUT
No Players Listed.

DOUBTFUL
No Players Listed.

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola – Ankle
TE Martellus Bennett – Knee
RB Brandon Bolden – Knee
LB Dont’a Hightower – Shoulder
WR Chris Hogan – Thigh
WR Malcolm Mitchell – Knee
DE Jabaal Sheard – Knee

The injuries to Hogan and Bennett are of considerable concern, as those two plan on being significant factors in the Patriots passing game against a weak Steelers secondary. Without them, and New England’s options to spread the field are severely limited. Both players went down in injuries in last week’s Divisional round win over the Houston Texans.

Also of note is the shoulder injury to Dont’a Hightower, who has been one of the most durable players on the Patriots defense this season.

Still, New England does not have any players listed as out or doubtful, meaning that there is a good chance all of the players listed above will play.

As for the visiting Steelers, there injury report wasn’t quite as long:

OUT
No Players Listed

DOUBTFUL
No Players Listed.

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green – Concussion, Illness
LB James Harrison – Shoulder, Triceps
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint – Concussion

Linebacker James Harrison is one of the most durable players in the NFL, even at age 38, and he figures to play a major role on the Steelers defense Sunday.

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