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Patriots get ‘cautiously optimistic’ update on Adrian Phillips

Patriots, Adrian Phillips

The New England Patriots received some good news on Monday, a day after their uninspiring season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins. The Pats are “cautiously optimistic” about safety Adrian Phillips’ rib injury, per Jordan Schultz of The Score.

Phillips suffered the injury on the Patriots’ second-to-last play of the first half on Sunday. His absence was immediately felt in the next play. On a fourth-and-7 play at the Patriots’ 42-yard line, Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa found Jaylen Waddle over the middle for what should’ve been a reception for around 10 yards. Instead, Waddle was able to break free and run into the end zone for a touchdown as safety Kyle Dugger took the wrong angle when trying to tackle.

Prior to leaving the game, Phillips was having a solid outing. He recorded three combined tackles (two solo and one for a loss). He also had a 75.5 grade for his performance in Sunday’s game, per Pro Football Focus, which was the third-highest among all Patriots players.

Phillips has been a steady force in New England’s secondary since he joined the team in 2020. He had a team-high 109 tackles (76 solo) along with a sack and two interceptions that season.

The 30-year-old Phillips became even stronger in pass coverage in 2021, with opposing quarterbacks completing just 34 of 57 passes when targeting for 310 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions–good for a 68.6 passer rating. Tagovailoa didn’t target Phillips in Sunday’s game.

If Phillips were to miss time, safety Jabrill Peppers would likely play some extra snaps. He only played 18 snaps and didn’t record a stat in his Patriots debut on Sunday. Second-year safety Joshuah Bledsoe, who was scratched from Sunday’s game after being limited in practice, could also see some playing time.

The Patriots face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2 next Sunday.