The New England Patriots will not have defensive end Trey Flowers when they play against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
He has been ruled out because of a rib injury, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
Flowers didn’t miss any practice this week, but was a limited participant every day. On Friday, he was listed as questionable.
The Patriots’ pass rush has been far from overwhelming this season, but Flowers’ improvement after a strong 2016 has helped them keep opposing quarterbacks from becoming too comfortable in the pocket. Flowers didn’t start a single game last year, but he still recorded 7 sacks.
Flowers has started every game this year, and has 6 sacks through 11 games.
The 9-2 Patriots have a three-game lead over the 6-5 Bills in the AFC East, but they are still fighting for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who also sport a 9-2 record.
The Bills are one game out of the final wild-card spot, and now have a better chance to defeat the Patriots than they did on Friday, with Flowers out.