The New England Patriots defense will get a huge boost if defensive end Trey Flowers is able to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Flowers has missed the Patriots’ last two games with a rib injury, but has been a limited participant in practice throughout the week. He has made “solid progress” in his recovery, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
Before Flowers got hurt, he had 6 sacks on the season. Even though he has missed the last two games, he leads the team in sacks.
The Patriots didn’t have any problems against the Bills on defense in his first game out, but they struggled against the Miami Dolphins during a 27-20 loss on Monday Night Football. They gave up 3 passing touchdowns to Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler, and running back Kenyan Drake had a huge game. He rushed for 114 yards and also caught 5 passes for 79 yards.
The Steelers’ offense can do far more damage. Running back Le’Veon Bell is the NFL’s leading rusher, and Antonio Brown is playing well enough to become the first wide receiver in NFL history to win MVP.
If anyone on the Patriots’ roster can help slow the high-powered Steelers’ offense that has kicked into high gear in recent weeks, it’s their best pass rusher.