Today's injury report features a couple of noteworthy developments.
#Patriots practice report: Ridley DNP, 15 guys limited, including Thompkins http://t.co/iSWSi6lb3SFirst from the Patriots perspective, the absence of Ridley is a new one. Ridley is listed with a knee injury and did not participate today. His status will be closely monitored for the rest of the week, as the third year back still has the highest upside of the Patriots healthy running backs. If Ridley is unable to go, both LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden will see increased workloads.
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) October 2, 2013
Another new development is Kenbrell Thompkins, who is listed at "limited participation" with a shoulder injury. While this is most likely a relatively minor issue, it warrants monitoring as well, as KT has started to step up and become one of the go-to guys of a wide receiver group that is still missing Danny Amendola.
There is some good news on the Patriots front. Aaron Dobson looks like he dodged a bullet and escaped any serious injury after taking a scary hit last week against Atlanta. Dobson participated on a limited basis with what is listed as a "neck" injury. Whether Dobson will be able to go remains to be seen, but his mere presence on the practice field is encouraging after that type of injury.
Also encouraging is Alfonzo Dennard, who isn't listed on the report at all. Dennard missed the last play of the Patriots win last week with an apparent injury, but luckily seems to be over whatever was bothering him then. His availability will be important to a Patriots secondary that has played well so far but lacks depth.
The Bengals have far fewer players on their injury report, but a few of them are major contributors. Cornerbacks Leon Hall and Dre Kirkpatrick did not participate, as both of them continue to nurse hamstring injuries. Hall is one of the better cover corners in the league, so his absence could be a boon for the Patriots.
Another big absence for Cincinnati is Michael Johnson, who did not participate due to a concussion suffered in Sunday's game. With the NFL's much stricter concussion protocols, Johnson has a good shot of missing this game. Johnson would be another big loss for the Bengals defense, as he is off to a terrific start this season. If he's out, rookie Margus Hunt could get more playing time.
The Bengals got some good news as well, as safety Reggie Nelson returned to practice on a limited basis with a hamstring issue. Joining him as "limited" was linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who has a neck injury. It wouldn't be surprising to see either of them out there Sunday against the Pats.