Injuries: Jabaal Sheard dealing with MCL sprain

An integral part of the New England Patriots' pass rush is dealing with a knee injury.

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports defensive end Jabaal Sheard has been dealing with a sprained MCL.

Sheard suffered the injury in the team's first preseason game. The pass-rusher's recovery timetable is 2-4 weeks, which should get him back on the field for the Pats' regular season opener versus the Arizona Cardinals.

If the recovery extends into the regular season, however, it will be another ding to New England's ability to disrupt the quarterback.

After shipping Chandler Jones to Arizona this offseason, Sheard was expected to help pick up the pass-rushing slack. Rob Ninkovich suffered a torn triceps and will likely miss the start of the season. Shea McClellin also suffered an injury this preseason.

Second-year defensive lineman Trey Flowers has stood out in the preseason and veteran Chris Long will be counted on more if Sheard's injury keeps him out for the start of the season.

Other injuries we're tracking on Tuesday:

  1. Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (back spasms) is back at practice, and head coach Ron Rivera has not ruled him out for Friday night against New England, per Steve Reed of the Associated Press. Wide receiver Corey Brownleft practice early with a shoulder injury.
  1. New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo said Victor Cruz (groin) will practice Tuesday without limitations. Linebacker J.T. Thomaswas activated off the PUP list and participated in positional drills Tuesday.
  1. Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of his team's injuries, only Matt Elam's is considered in the realm of season-threatening. Elam is having surgery to clean out his knee after falling on it during the Ravens' win over the Colts.
  1. Colts defensive tackle Henry Anderson (knee) "may not be ready for Week 1," head coach Chuck Pagano said.
  1. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said defensive back Orlando Scandrickhas been limited in practice by a groin injury, and is day-to-day.
  1. Bills head coach Rex Ryan said defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman has a quadriceps contusion, quarterback Cardale Jones has a sore shoulder and tackle Jordan Mills suffered a knee injury, but the staff doesn't know the extent of the injury yet. Ryan also said wideout Sammy Watkins (foot) is scheduled to play Friday versus Washington, but not much. Linebacker Manny Lawson will also play.
  1. Lions wide receiver Golden Tate (undisclosed) is back at practice.
  1. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden expects first-round pick Josh Doctsonto be ready in time for Week 1. The rookie wideout has missed all of camp due to an Achilles injury, though he's increasing his rehab work toward returning to the field.
  1. Titans head coach Mike Mularkey said he'd like to see wide receiver Kendall Wright and cornerback Perrish Coxget action in the preseason finale next week. Cornerback Jason McCourty is on track to play this week against Oakland, Mularkey added.
  1. Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, benched last week because coach Mike Zimmer "wanted to," threw some short and medium-range passes in practice Tuesday, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
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