Injury report sending a message?

January, 11, 2013
1/11/13
5:42
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The makeover the New England Patriots gave their injury report Friday will be sure to garner attention around the NFL, especially after the team had listed nearly half its roster as limited in practice and questionable for recent games.

With 15 players removed and only five players remaining on Friday's report, the Patriots' injury report overhaul might be considered gamesmanship, trying to give the Houston Texans a headache before Sunday's playoff game. It's also possible it might have come in response to criticism from the Texans or the league office. At this point, the impetus for the change is unclear.

The trend over the 16-game regular season was that players listed as limited in practice ("less than 100 percent of a player's normal repetitions," according to the injury report's glossary) would be announced as questionable ("50-50 chance will not play") on Friday's report. Players listed as full participants ("100 percent of a player's normal repetitions") would typically be probable ("virtual certainty player will be available for normal duty") for that respective game.

With that in mind, it seems unlikely that 15 players listed as limited on Wednesday and Thursday would legitimately make the jump to not being listed at all, in just one day. Either their status on Wednesday and Thursday was more dire than reality, or their status (or lack thereof) on Friday does not reveal their actual condition.

Another possibility is the Patriots believe injury-report designations are flawed altogether and this is their way of sending that message to the league office.

Whatever the case may be, the Patriots do not have any players listed as questionable for the first time this season. Of the 15 players removed, here is a look at when they were first listed with their current injury (as of Thursday) this season:

S Patrick Chung -- Oct. 17
G Dan Connolly -- Nov. 14
S Nate Ebner -- Dec. 26
TE Aaron Hernandez -- Sept. 19
LB Dont'a Hightower -- Oct. 3
DE Chandler Jones -- Nov. 19
WR Brandon Lloyd -- Oct. 24
G Logan Mankins -- Oct. 3
LB Jerod Mayo -- Oct. 24
DE Rob Ninkovich -- Jan. 9
LB Mike Rivera -- Dec. 19
LB Brandon Spikes -- Nov. 7
CB Aqib Talib -- Dec. 12
WR Wes Welker -- Oct. 10
LB Tracy White -- Dec. 12

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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