Football

J.C. Jackson returns to practice, 13 Patriots players questionable vs. Panthers

Shaq Mason, Jonnu Smith, and Dont'a Hightower are among those questionable for the Patriots.

J.C. Jackson is expected to play in Sunday's game.

A key Patriots player returned to practice Friday ahead of Sunday’s matchup against the Panthers, but two players were added to the injury report.

Cornerback J.C. Jackson practiced Friday after missing the Patriots’ first two practices this week due to an illness. Punter Jake Bailey (right knee) and receiver N’Keal Harry (knee) were added to the injury report after being limited at Friday’s practice.

Bailey, Harry, and 11 other Patriots players are questionable for Sunday’s game.

Guard Shaq Mason (abdomen) and tight end Jonnu Smith (shoulder) are the other offensive players listed as questionable for Sunday. Both players were limited at practice all week after playing in last Sunday’s win against the Chargers.

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On defense, defensive tackle Christian Barmore (foot), linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley (ribs), defensive lineman Carl Davis (hand), safety Cody Davis (hand), safety Kyle Dugger (neck), linebacker Dont’a Hightower (ankle), linebacker Josh Uche (shoulder), and linebacker Kyle Van Noy (groin) are all questionable for Sunday’s game. All eight of those players were limited at all three practices this week.

On the Panthers’ end, starting quarterback Sam Darnold is questionable after suffering a concussion in the team’s win over the Falcons last week. Darnold’s also dealing with a shoulder injury.

Star running back Christian McCaffrey could make his return on Sunday after missing the last five games due to a hamstring injury. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule told reporters Friday that he’s “hopeful” McCaffrey will return on Sunday and if he does play, it’ll only be on limited reps.

Panthers starting guard Pat Elfein (hamstring) is questionable to make his return after missing the last six games. Cornerback Stantley Thomas-Oliver is also questionable with a toe injury.

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