Offensive lineman Trent Brown has been ruled out for the Patriots’ game against the Texans on Sunday. Winslow Townson/Associated Press Images for Panini

The Patriots will be without at least two of their starting offensive linemen this weekend in Houston.

Trent Brown (calf) and Shaq Mason (abdomen) were both ruled out for the Texans game after missing an entire week of practice. New England could be without as many as four starters on the offensive line this Sunday, as Michael Onwenu and Isaiah Wynn are both still on the COVID-19 reserve list.

If that’s the case, the Patriots could have a surprisingly difficult afternoon in Houston.

New England also listed eight players questionable: Ja’Whaun Bentley (shoulder), Cody Davis (knee), Kyle Dugger (hamstring), Nick Folk (left knee), Jonathan Jones (ankle), Jalen Mills (hamstring), Ronnie Perkins (ankle), Kyle Van Noy (groin).

Surprisingly thin at cornerback after the Stephon Gilmore trade, the Patriots could also be in trouble if either Jones or Mills isn’t ready to go in the defensive backfield. Shaun Wade (concussion), has been ruled out, too.

On the Houston side, old friends Danny Amendola (thigh) and Marcus Cannon (back) are questionable, while Rex Burkhead (hip) has been ruled out.

RAIDERS: The NFL reacted strongly and quickly to a report that Jon Gruden used a racist comment about NFL Players Association leader DeMaurice Smith in an email 10 years ago.

A Wall Street Journal story noted that Gruden, then working for ESPN and now coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, referred in a racist way to Smith’s facial features.

“The email from Jon Gruden denigrating DeMaurice Smith is appalling, abhorrent and wholly contrary to the NFL’s values,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “We condemn the statement and regret any harm that its publication may inflict on Mr. Smith or anyone else.”

The league is looking into the matter and a person familiar with that probe told The Associated Press that disciplinary action is possible for Gruden. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of any league probe are not made public.

Gruden’s comment in an email to then-Washington Football Team President Bruce Allen came during the 2011 lockout of the players by the NFL. Gruden told the newspaper he was angry about the lockout during labor negotiations and he didn’t trust the direction the union was taking. He also apologized for the remark, the Journal reported.

During a review of emails regarding workplace misconduct at the Washington Football Team that was completed during the summer, “the league was informed of the existence of emails that raised issues beyond the scope of that investigation,” McCarthy added.

SEAHAWKS: Quarterback Russell Wilson was seeing a hand specialist regarding his injured right middle finger suffered in the Thursday night loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Seattle Coach Pete Carroll declined to go into many specifics regarding the injury until after Wilson saw a specialist in the Los Angeles area. Carroll said Wilson did have an initial set of X-rays after the 26-17 loss the Rams.

“I want him to go to the specialist and make sure he tells us,” Carroll said. “But there’s something going on. There’s definitely something going on and we’ve got to figure out what the extent of it is and what is the next step to deal with it.”

Wilson was injured in the third quarter when his fingers hit the arm of defensive tackle Aaron Donald on the follow through of a pass attempt. Wilson tried to play one more series and threw one more pass before giving way to Geno Smith in the fourth quarter. Carroll said Wilson simply didn’t have the strength in the finger to control the ball as needed to throw.

PANTHERS: Carolina listed running back Christian McCaffrey as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, even after McCaffrey practiced all three days on a limited basis this week. He missed last week’s game against the Dallas Cowboys with a strained hamstring. If McCaffrey doesn’t play he will have missed 15 of Carolina’s last 21 games due to injury.

“Nothing much more to add,” Panthers Coach Matt Rhule said Friday. “He’s been going. It’s doubtful he’ll play on Sunday. That could change. I’m not going to play any games.’’

The team has also listed left tackle Cam Erving (neck) and linebacker Shaq Thompson (foot) as out for Sunday.

BRONCOS: Teddy Bridgewater is trending toward starting Sunday against the Steelers one week after suffering a concussion in Denver’s loss to Baltimore.

Bridgewater was cleared for a full practice Friday and met with medical staff afterward. He hopes to get the green light Saturday morning before the Broncos (3-1) fly to Pittsburgh (1-3).

BROWNS: Star defensive end and NFL sacks leader Myles Garrett expects to play Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers despite missing his second practice of the week Friday due to soreness.

Garrett is listed as questionable by the Browns (3-1), who are dealing with numerous injuries across their second-ranked defense and continue to downplay quarterback Baker Mayfield’s shoulder injury. While his teammates went through the portion of practice open to media members, Garrett worked on his conditioning to the side with starting rookie cornerback Greg Newsome, who will miss his second straight game with a calf injury.

Afterward, Garrett, who was rested Wednesday and was limited in Thursday’s practice, said he’s been dealing with “nagging pain” for several weeks, but wouldn’t specify his injuries.

JETS: New York signed defensive end John Franklin-Myers to a contract extension, rewarding one of their young standouts.

A person with direct knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press it’s a four-year contract worth up to $55 million.

TITANS: Tennessee placed linebacker Jayon Brown and three others on injured reserve after declaring them out against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Brown played three of the last four games, including last week’s loss to the Jets. But he’s been on the injury report most recently with a knee that kept him from practicing this week. The Titans also put rookie wide receiver Racey McMath, offensive lineman Aaron Brewer and tight end Tommy Hudson on injured reserve.

49ERS: Trey Lance drew Kyle Shanahan’s official nod to debut as the 49ers’ starting quarterback Sunday, but only after Jimmy Garoppolo’s calf injury kept him out of practice all week, including Friday’s light session.

The undefeated Arizona Cardinals (4-0) and State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., will serve as the launching pad for Lance’s much-anticipated starting tenure, one that officially isn’t promised beyond this game.

Garoppolo was ruled out, and tight end George Kittle is doubtful because of his own calf injury that kept him out of practice, too.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.