BUFFALO – In addition to Rob Gronkowski, other Patriots not making the trip to Buffalo for the season opener include rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson, running back Brandon Bolden, offensive lineman Will Svitek and safeties Nate Ebner and Duron Harmon.
The absence of Bolden is a special teams issue. As Mike Reiss points out, Bolden is a core special teams guy (Reiss’ diligence in charting special teams personnel must be given the nod here) and likely pushed the team to re-sign Leon Washington on Saturday.
With Dobson down, expect to see more Josh Boyce and Julian Edelman. Svitek, though he played a lot in the preseason, would have yielded to Dan Connolly eventually at right guard so it’s not that big a deal for the starters. It does, however, impact the depth there.