Howard again on Thursday Rex Burkhead Jerseys 2019 , so it seems likely that his knee injury will keep him from playing against the Patriots on Sunday.Head coach Adam Gase said on Wednesday that Howard is considered week to week and that he expects him to play again before the year is out. On Thursday, Gase was asked if Howard, who was not on crutches while watching practice, had a surgical procedure on his knee.“Any of that stuff, we keep in-house. … We have to make sure we do the right thing for him,” Gase said, via Adam Beasley of the . “When he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go.”New England has had issues in recent late season trips to Miami, but playing without Howard will make it tougher for the Dolphins to make this visit a painful one. Several players have a lot at stake as they fight for a spot on each team’s respective roster tonight." NFL preseasonPatriots AnalysisPatriots Game Previews8 players to keep an eye on during the Patriots’ preseason opener against the LionsNew,17commentsSeveral players have a lot at stake as they fight for a spot on each team’s respective roster tonight.EDTShare this storyShare this on FacebookShare this on TwitterShareAll sharing optionsShareAll sharing options for:8 players to keep an eye on during the Patriots’ preseason opener against the LionsTwitterFacebookRedditPocketFlipboardEmailPhot o by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesWith the preseason game against the Lions coming up later tonight, the Patriots will get their first NFL game-like action for the 2019 season. Quarterback Tom Brady and many other major players on the starting offense and defense will be sitting out for this game, which means mostly rookies and bubble players in this game per standard operating procedure. That will give those players looking for opportunities some tape for the Patriots and the other 31 teams to evaluate. The following eight players on the bubble stand to gain or lose a lot depending on their performance in this game:Offensive Tackle Dan SkipperSkipper has been rotating with the first unit in camp as the team brings last year’s first round pick Isaiah Wynn up to speed after missing a year due to an Achilles injury. He probably would have been matched up with edge rusher Trey Flowers for the first pair of series, but the former Patriot is still on the Lions’ PUP list and unlikely to come off ahead of today’s game. No matter the opponent, though, a quality outing could go a long way towards Skipper making the roster as the early starter at the position and later a swing tackle once Wynn is completely up to speed. — Michael McDermottWith Isaiah Wynn still working his way back from his Achilles injury, and rookie swing tackle Yodny Cajuste having yet to suit up due to recovery from quad surgery White Adam Butler Jerseys , Skipper has slotted in as the team’s first-team left tackle. Skipper is a 6’9”, 325-lb. tackle from the University of Arkansas, going into his third year in the NFL. He did not play a single snap in the NFL last season, spending time on the Detroit Lions’ and Denver Broncos’ practice squads. As a rookie in 2017, Skipper played in one regular season game for the Lions. In the 2017 preseason, Skipper rotated between left guard and left tackle. — Aidan CurranWide Receiver Maurice HarrisHarris has had a pretty strong camp so far, so he’ll need to take that momentum into the first preseason game. Rookies N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers have flashed promise in camp, which puts some pressure on Harris to claim a receiver spot. He should get plenty of opportunities with the first/second string unit alongside Meyers to see how they hold up. Harris has seen time in both the slot and on the boundary, so having the versatility to do both roles should help in rounding out the depth chart in case a) Josh Gordon is not available, or b) Harry and Meyers are slow to learn the playbook or being situational-only players. — Michael McDermottSlot Cornerback Duke Dawson Jr.The depth at the cornerback position has pushed Dawson to the bubble, with five players ahead of him likely making the roster and plenty of competition in case there is a sixth spot open. The former second-round draft pick will have to outplay rookies Joejuan Williams and D’Angelo Ross tonight and through the rest of preseason to justify having a roster spot as a slot only corner and possibly depth safety. — Michael McDermottSlot Receiver/Punt Returner Braxton BerriosBerrios, the second-year wideout out of the University of Miami, started slow out of the gates in training camp, not connecting with Tom Brady on a pass until the second week of camp. With Julian Edelman still recovering from thumb surgery, and the Patriots’ wide receiver corps in flux, Berrios won’t have a better opportunity on this team than the present to show he can be the future at the slot receiver position for the Patriots after Edelman eventually retires.Preseason Week 1: Patriots vs LionsPhoto by Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesPatriots vs Lions: How to watch Adam Butler Jerseys 2019 , game time, TV, radio, streaming, oddsTom Brady sits out final walkthrough; not expected to play against LionsPats Pulpit Podcast Episode 148: 2019 Preseason week 1 Patriot vs LionsPatriots announce preseason jersey numbers for their rookie classGlancing back to Patriots’ personnel in last August’s preseason openerTrip to Detroit a reminder how Patriots turned Kyle Van Noy from draft bust into championBy most accounts, though, Berrios has come on strong of late, and has looked good out at joint practices with the Lions, perhaps because he isn’t matching up with the lockdown New England secondary. A strong Week 1 preseason performance for the 5’9”, 190-lb. pass-catcher would perhaps give him a lift up the receiver depth chart.