Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson back for Patriots?


The New England Patriots once will again enter the weekend unsure if their best offensive lineman will be able to suit up against the Baltimore Ravens.

Left tackle Nate Solder (concussion) participated in practice for the second consecutive day Friday, according to the Boston Herald. It's a positive sign that Solder was on the field, but he still hasn't leaped every hurdle. He'll have to pass the final stages of the NFL's concussion protocol before being cleared. However, it is a step forward. He likely will be a game-time decision.

Rookie receivers Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) and Aaron Dobson (foot), on the other hand, are expected to play Sunday, assuming their last medical checkups come out clean, the Herald reported.

Having the duo back would be a huge boon for Tom Brady's passing attack, which displayed a lack of field-stretching weapons last week against the Miami Dolphins. No player in the NFL can fill Rob Gronkowski's role in the Patriots' offense, but having the rookie duo on the field would be an upgrade over what we witnessed last week.

On the flip side, improving rookie receiver Josh Boyce won't play due to an ankle injury. Boyce showed some flashes in the last couple games while Dobson and Thompkins were out with injuries.

We examine coaches on the hot seat and chat with Packers guard Josh Sitton on the latest "Around The League Podcast."