Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker suffered a concussion against the Cardinals on Dec. 12 and will miss his second straight game on Saturday. Darryl Webb/Associated Press

The Patriots are banged up at some important positions ahead of a Christmas Eve date with the Bengals.

Bill Belichick has three cornerbacks, three wide receivers and a pair of running backs on his final injury report of the week.

DeVante Parker (concussion) and Jalen Mills (groin) have been ruled out again, as has longsnapper Joe Cardona (ankle), which will end an iron man streak of 140 consecutive games dating back to 2015. That means newly-signed Tucker Addington will likely be elevated from the practice squad to snap in his place.

Elsewhere on the injury report, Jack Jones (knee), Jonathan Jones (chest), Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle), Damien Harris (thigh), Jakobi Meyers (shoulder) and Tyquan Thornton (knee) are listed as questionable. Stevenson played with his ankle injury last week, while Meyers, Thornton, and Jonathan Jones are all dealing with new ailments.

THE BENGALS are expecting defensive end Trey Hendrickson to play Saturday against the Patriots, Coach Zac Taylor said.

Hendrickson suffered a broken wrist in the team’s win over the Browns on Dec. 11.


“He’ll protect himself, but I feel good about where he’s at,” Taylor said.

Recently named a Pro Bowler, Hendrickson has six sacks this season for the Bengals to go along with 22 quarterback hits.

“Wrist is good,” Hendrickson said Thursday. “It’s one of those things that it’s gonna be a game-time decision. It’s broken. It is what it is. It’s going to be painful. We haven’t got any kind of timeframe.”

Hendrickson plans to put a brace on the wrist for the game, but will have movement of his fingers. The issue is not a re-injury, he said, but rather a pain tolerance issue.

EAGLES:  Quarterback Jalen Hurts is not expected to play Saturday because of a sprained right shoulder, putting Gardner Minshew in line to start against the Dallas Cowboys.

Hurts was injured on a hard tackle during Sunday’s win at Chicago. The Eagles have the best record in the NFL at 13-1 and would clinch the NFC East title and the No. 1 seed in the conference with a win against the Cowboys.


“It’s looking like it’s going to be Gardner,” Eagles Coach Nick Sirianni said.

The 24-year-old Hurts said he grasped he was injured the moment he was tackled by defensive tackle Travis Gipson. He stayed in the game and went 7-of-10 passing for 110 yards – and hit wide receiver A.J. Brown for a 68-yard reception.

STEELERS: Kenny Pickett isn’t worried that he’s become concussion prone after sustaining a second one in a matter of months, though the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback is taking steps to hopefully avoid more of them down the road.

The 20th overall pick in last spring’s draft will wear a larger helmet on Saturday night when the Steelers (6-8) host Las Vegas (6-8), The new helmet offers a little more protection for the back of Pickett’s head. Both of the concussions Pickett has sustained this season — against Tampa Bay on Oct. 16 and against Baltimore on Dec. 11 — came on plays in which the back of his helmet smacked against the Acrisure Stadium turf.

“Slamming my head on the ground is what has been the issue,” Pickett said. “(The new helmet) has (more protection) in the back, which I think will help.”

Pickett sat out last week’s victory over Carolina after concussion-like symptoms lingered after getting knocked down by Baltimore linebacker Roquan Smith early in the first quarter of what became a 16-14 Ravens victory.


Medical personnel initially cleared Pickett to go back in the game, but he self-reported issues after returning for one series and was placed into the protocol.

TITANS: Rookie Malik Willis will start his third NFL game Saturday against the Houston Texans with veteran quarterback Ryan Tannehill ruled out with an injured right ankle.

Titans Coach Mike Vrabel refused to discuss Tannehill’s future beyond this game.

“Just out this week,” Vrabel said. “I don’t have to issue an injury report for next week until next week.”

BEARS: Cornerback Jaylon Johnson is questionable for Saturday’s game against the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills because of a ring finger injury.

Johnson was limited in practice on Thursday after being a full participant the previous day.


Assuming he plays, Johnson has another tough assignment facing Stefon Diggs after going against Philadelphia’s A.J. Brown last week.

Brown had nine receptions for a career-high 181 yards, though Johnson made him work for it and broke up a season-best three passes.

BROADCASTING RIGHTS: Fans will have to Google it beginning next season if they want to access the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” package.

The NFL announced an agreement for Google to distribute the package of out-of-market Sunday afternoon games on YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels.

The seven-year deal is worth a little more than $2 billion per season. The package has been on DirecTV since 1994. The satellite provider has paid $1.5 billion per year on an eight-year contract that expires at the end of this season.

The NFL had been seeking $2.5 billion per season for the package. It could still reach that total since the league retains commercial rights to bars and restaurants and is in the midst of selling those rights.


OBIT: Running back Ronnie Hillman, who was part of the Denver Broncos team that won Super Bowl 50, has died, his family said in a statement. He was 31.

Hillman’s family posted on his Instagram account Wednesday that he was diagnosed in August with a rare form of kidney cancer called renal medullary carcinoma and was under hospice care. The family wrote hours later that he died surrounded by family and close friends.

The Broncos expressed their condolences on social media Thursday morning.

After a standout career at San Diego State, Hillman was picked by the Broncos in the third round of the 2012 draft. He ran for 1,976 yards and 12 touchdowns over his 56-game career, which included stints with the Minnesota Vikings and the Chargers while they were in San Diego.

RAVENS: Lamar Jackson will miss a third straight game when the Baltimore Ravens host the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday.

Jackson was ruled out Thursday because of a knee injury. He was hurt in a win over Denver on Dec. 4. The Ravens have split two road games since then, beating Pittsburgh and losing to Cleveland with Tyler Huntley starting at quarterback.

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