The Patriots are likely to be down one of their top players on defense against the Bills on Monday night.
Strong safety Kyler Dugger is highly unlikely to play against the Bills, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic.
Patriots safety Kyle Dugger is highly unlikely to play tonight against the Bills, according to a source. He’s on the COVID-19 list.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) December 6, 2021
Dugger was placed on the COVID-19 list last Wednesday and hasn’t been activated as of Monday afternoon.
He’s appeared in all 12 Patriots games this season and has played over 81% of the defensive snaps. He’s recorded 80 total tackles (62 solo) along with one fumble recovery, three interceptions, and four passes defended.
To say this loss is ginormous would be an understatement. Dugger is also coming off perhaps his finest game of the season against Tennessee last Sunday.
He finished with nine total tackles (six solo) and notched that one fumble recovery.
It remains to be seen if the Patriots make a corresponding move. They could decide to elevate Sean Davis from the practice squad as NESN notes, but they also could choose to have Joejuan Williams play more in Dugger’s absence.
Whatever the case, this would be a big loss as New England looks to take control of the AFC East.
Kickoff will be at 8:15 p.m. ET.