After Jonnu Smith and the Patriots put up 16 points against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1, the Patriots needs every player eager and available to do better in Week 2. Unfortunately, the football gods may have other plans as Jonnu Smith was added to the injury report on Thursday.
Will Jonnu Smith feature in Week 2?
Jonnu Smith was limited in practice with a hip injury. It is unclear whether holding him out of practice was merely a precaution or if it's something worse. Of course, this hip injury comes on the heels of Ryan Fitzpatrick's hip injury, one that has knocked him out until mid-season.
While the injury doesn't appear to be nearly as serious as the one currently plaguing Ryan Fitzpatrick, it is worth keeping an eye on. Smith is listed as "questionable" for this weekend's game. That said, questionable players often find their way onto the field in critical moments like when the team is 0-1 and begging to avoid a cursed 0-2 start.
That said, he could be on a pitch count until late in the game if it is close or the team is desperate for a spark on offense. This means backup Hunter Henry could see the field a bit more in the game.
Hunter Henry vs Jonnu Smith
If one were to compare the stats of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith in a vacuum, they would conclude that Henry is the starter. Over the last three years, Henry has averaged about 600 yards of offense and about four touchdowns per season. Jonnu Smith averaged about 300 yards and four touchdowns in that period.
However, the Patriots see Henry as the backup and Smith as the starter. This could be Hunter Henry's shot to prove to Bill Belichick that he is the rightful starter. Put simply, this game could be huge for Hunter Henry's career. If it works out, he could put himself on pace to sign a bigger deal later down the line. In the end, it could come down to how the next few days shake out.
Jonnu Smith, meanwhile, will be soliciting coaches and medical staff to clear him to play. He's a new addition and knows that nothing is guaranteed when playing for Bill Belichick, who cut the starting quarterback just a couple of weeks ago. How will Sunday shake out for the tight end room? Will the Patriots avoid a 0-2 start? Mac Jones and Hunter Henry will surely have a say in things as they take on the New York Jets in Week 2.
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