Trent Brown's status on the New England Patriots' Week 10 injury report raised a few eyebrows.
The Patriots' veteran offensive tackle didn't travel with the team for its game against the Indianapolis Colts in Germany due to "personal reasons" as well as an ankle injury. That begs the question: How much of Brown's absence was related to his injury versus his personal issue?
Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer joined NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Pregame Live on Sunday morning to shed more light on Brown's situation.
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"There's a legitimate injury, is what it is," Breer said, as seen in the video above. "... It's not just the ankle. There's also a pre-existing knee condition there. This of course creates bigger concerns going forward, because the guy in his ninth year, he's obviously an enormous player -- like a big, big, big man. And now you've got not just an ankle injury but a pre-existing knee injury.
"Again, 30 years old in his ninth year in the league, a lot of miles on his body. So, you do have to ask that question: Is he gonna be able to make it to the end of the year based on all of this? And maybe that's why they sit him down today."
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Brown is the Patriots' top offensive linemen and arguably a top-10 offensive tackle in the NFL when healthy. But the 370-pound veteran is dealing with a lingering knee injury, per Breer, and with the Patriots on a bye in Week 11, perhaps New England thought it wise to give him a couple weeks off.
Breer added another layer to the situation, however, noting that Brown hasn't been the most punctual this season -- which isn't anything new.
"The other thing here that shouldn't be ignored: I'm still told he's habitually late to things," Breer said of Brown. "This is something that's sort of what you sign up for when you bring him back. It's who he was in San Francisco. It's who he was even in New England that one year that he had the great year (in 2018). It's who he was out in Oakland (with the Raiders) and it's who he is again.
"He is habitually late to things. That's been a problem over the course of his career and that problem hasn't gone away this year. But he's a guy that you're really relying on because you don't have anybody else capable of playing that left tackle spot at a high level."
The Patriots are in a similar position with J.C. Jackson and Jack Jones. Both cornerbacks reportedly missed curfew the night before last Sunday's game against the Washington Commanders and have had disciplinary issues in the past, but New England's lack of depth at cornerback has compelled Bill Belichick to keep both players on the roster because he doesn't have any better options.
That's the reality for the 2023 Patriots, who are relying on several unreliable players and have a 2-7 record to show for it.