9:08 a.m.: Sony Michel’s NFL debut will have to wait. The Patriots first-round draft pick, who is listed as questionable with a knee injury, is not expected to play today, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. That’s not a surprising development, as Michel sat out the entire preseason and remained limited in practice this week. New England will have three running backs at its disposal against the Texans: James White, Rex Burkhead and Jeremy Hill. 8:30 a.m.: An interesting report this morning from Ian Rapoport, who said Rob Gronkowski made it clear this offseason he would rather retire than play for any team other than the Patriots. This made New England halt what had been “intense” trade talks involving the All-Pro tight end, per Rapoport.
8:15 a.m.: The Texans reportedly will be without one of their top offensive weapons today. Wide receiver Will Fuller, who is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury, is not expected to play, a source told NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Fuller, a speedy third-year pro out of Notre Dame, is Houston’s No. 2 wideout behind All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins. He didn’t play in last year’s Patriots-Texans matchup as he recovered from a broken collarbone. With Fuller out, Bruce Ellington moves up a spot on the depth chart. Fellow Texans wideouts Sammie Coates and Keke Coutee also are listed up as questionable with hamstring injuries. 8 a.m. ET: Good morning from Gillette Stadium, where the New England Patriots are preparing to open their 2018 regular season against the Houston Texans. The Texans nearly upset the Patriots in Foxboro last season, and Houston stars Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus all are back after recovering from season-ending injuries. New England, as it has for the past 17 years, will be led by quarterback Tom Brady, whose receiving corps experienced an unusual amount of turnover this summer. Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson — plus tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Jacob Hollister and running backs Rex Burkhead, James White and Jeremy Hill — will look to hold down the fort until Julian Edelman returns from suspension in Week 5. Hollister, running back Sony Michel, offensive tackle Marcus Cannon and safety Nate Ebner all are listed as questionable for New England. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET. Click the link below for a full game preview, and be sure to check back throughout the morning for full pregame coverage, including the premiere of NESN.com’s Patriots Chat at 11 a.m. on Facebook Live. Patriots vs. Texans preview: What to watch for >> Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images Recommended videos Powered by AnyClip