In the Patriots’ third preseason game, the team is expecting to keep its starters on the field through at least three quarters, a dress rehearsal for what’s to come this season.
But the team may very well be without new wide receiver Danny Amendola, who wasn’t spotted at practice on Monday and Tuesday — crucial days during a short week — before the team traveled to Detroit on Wednesday for their tuneup against the Lions (1-1) Thursday night.
Amendola was hit in the back of the head after catching a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He left the field, but returned two plays later before calling it a night. In the last two seasons, Amendola has missed 20 of 32 regular season games while with the St. Louis Rams.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman will likely take Amendola’s snaps as the team’s slot receiver if he is unable to play.
Meanwhile, several Patriots will be making last-ditch efforts to make the roster, including quarterback Tim Tebow, who was 1 of 7 for minus-1 yard and an interception against the Buccaneers.
NFL teams will have to trim their rosters to 75 players on Tuesday, Aug. 27.
Here are the details for Thursday night’s game:
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Preseason records: Patriots 2-0; Lions 1-1 preseason.
TV/radio: WBZ-TV/Patriots Preseason Television Network (Dan Roche, Christian Fauria, Matt Chatham, Steve Burton, Paul Perillo, Andy Hart); 98.5-FM The Sports Hub (Bob Socci, Scott Zolak).
Projected starting lineups:
Based on information distributed to the media, practice observations, and injuries for each team.
Patriots offense: WR Julian Edelman, LT Nate Solder, LG Logan Mankins, C Ryan Wendell, RG Will Svitek, RT Sebastian Vollmer, TE Jake Ballard, WR Kenbrell Thompkins, QB Tom Brady, RB Stevan Ridley, TE Zach Sudfeld.
Patriots defense: NT Vince Wilfork, DT Tommy Kelly, DE Chandler Jones, DE Rob Ninkovich, LB Dont’a Hightower, LB Jerod Mayo, LB Brandon Spikes, CB Aqib Talib, CB Kyle Arrington, S Devin McCourty, S Adrian Wilson.
Lions offense: WR Nate Burleson, LT Riley Reiff, LG Rob Sims, C Dominic Raiola, RG Dylan Gandy, RT Jason Fox, TE Brandon Pettigrew, TE Tony SCheffler, WR Calvin Johnson, QB Matthew Stafford, RB Reggie Bush.
Lions defense: DE Ezekiel Ansah, DT Nick Fairley, DT Ndamukong Suh, DE Jason Jones, OLB Ashlee Palmer, MLB Stephen Tulloch, OLB Deandre Levy, LCB Chris Houston, RCB Ron Bartell, SS Glover Quin, FS Louis Delmas.