Injuries should force these Patriots players to step up Week 16 vs. Broncos


FOXBORO — If the Patriots’ offensive conservatism at the end of last week’s loss to the Chiefs left you feeling irritable, then it be best to skip this week’s game against the Broncos lest it ruin your holiday.

Head coach Bill Belichick said Sunday that injuries were partially to blame for the Patriots’ lack of tempo late in the game when they trailed by 10 points with four minutes left in the game and backed up to their own 1-yard line.

By that time, left guard Cole Strange and tight end Hunter Henry had left with injuries, and left tackle Conor McDermott – filling in for Trent Brown – was out with a concussion.

Based on early returns in practice, it seems likely the Patriots will be going into Denver without those three players.

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