The first surprise injury of Super Bowl week is nothing for New England Patriots fans to fret over.
Defensive tackle Alan Branch was added to the injury report Wednesday, listed as “limited” with a toe injury.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that the defensive lineman should be good to go for the game, per a source informed of the situation. Branch had his toe stepped on at practice.
Branch plays a key role against the run inside for a youthful, thin Patriots defensive front (Branch winning his four-game suspension appeal earlier this season snuck under the radar as a big victory for the Pats).
The 32-year-old is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, compiling 49 tackles, 1.5 sacks and three passes defensed while playing 60 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.
Having Branch on the field Sunday will be pivotal versus the Falcons’ two-headed running monster of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.
Other injury news we are following Thursday:
1. Julio Jones (toe) reiterated he’s good to go. The Falcons’ receiver was listed as “limited” on Wednesday, but denied that he’s slowed at all. He was also limited again on Thursday.
2. Falcons defensive end Dwight Freeney sat out practice with what was listed by the team as a calf injury. However, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport that the veteran’s injury isn’t considered serious.