Patriots

Cole Strange, Jonathan Jones ruled out vs. Cowboys. Here’s what that means for the Patriots.

It marks the second missed game for Strange this season and the third in a row Jones will sit out.

Cole Strange won't be on the field for the Patriots on Sunday.

The Patriots will be without a starter along the offensive line and in the secondary again.

Cole Strange and Jonathan Jones were both downgraded to out for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys, the team announced ahead of its trip to Dallas on Saturday.

Strange is dealing with a knee injury that he re-aggravated during last week’s win against the Jets. The Patriots’ starting left guard first suffered the injury during training camp, keeping him out through the preseason and for the first game of this season. He was limited in practice for the entire week.

As for Jones, he’ll miss his third straight game due to an ankle injury. The veteran corner injured the ankle during practice ahead of the Patriots’ Week 2 loss to the Dolphins.

With the injury to Strange, the Patriots will be playing one of their mid-round rookies at left guard again. Fifth-round rookie Atonio Mafi started in place of Strange in Week 1 and replaced him when he went down in Week 3. He’s given up seven pressures and two sacks so far this season, according to Pro Football Focus.

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As Mafi’s struggled in his relatively short stint at left guard so far this season, it’s possible the Patriots could turn to Sidy Sow to start in Strange’s place on Sunday. The fourth-round rookie cleared concussion protocol on Friday after missing the last two games.

Sow has already played multiple roles for the Patriots in his young career. He earned playing time at right tackle during training camp and the preseason before settling back in at guard at the start of the regular season. He started in Michael Onwenu’s place at right guard in Week 1, giving up five pressures against the Eagles, via PFF.

On the other end, the Patriots will be managing a relatively thin secondary for the second straight week. In addition to Jones’s injury, both Marcus Jones and Jack Jones are still on injured reserve, leaving New England without three of its top four corners entering the season.

The injuries to the Joneses aren’t the only ones the Patriots are dealing with at corner, either. Shaun Wade was added to the injury report on Friday with a shoulder injury, making him questionable for Sunday’s game. Wade wasn’t ruled out of Sunday’s game though on Saturday, a likely indication that he traveled with the team to Dallas and that he has a chance to play on Sunday.

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Wade ended up playing a big role for the Patriots last week, serving as their second outside corner alongside Christian Gonzalez. Myles Bryant, who mostly played slot corner, was the only other corner to play for the Patriots in Week 3.

The Patriots could add some reinforcements at secondary for Sunday’s game, regardless if Wade plays. They have two corners on their practice squad in Azizi Hearn and Breon Borders that they can call up. Safety Joshuah Bledsoe is also on the practice squad. The third-year defensive back has played some snaps at corner during the preseason in the past for the Patriots.

New England can only call up two players from the practice squad.

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