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New England Patriots could be missing several key players for their Week 1 game vs. the Steelers

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The defending Super Bowl Champions will be short-handed in Week 1 when the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town.

Green Bay Packers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Rob Leiter /Getty Images

The New England Patriots will be opening their season at home in Week 1 vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they won’t likely have a full roster of players when they host their AFC rivals from Pennsylvania.

Saturday it was announced the NFL has suspended tight end Lance Kendricks one game for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. While this is only a one-game suspension, it certainly is big for the Steelers.

Historically, the Steelers have struggled to cover tight ends when playing Tom Brady and company, and if they plan to exploit the Steelers’ defense in 2019, it won’t be with an household name.

Rob Gronkowski is retired from football, and while many believe he will return to the Patriots at some point in time, Week 1 is extremely unlikely for a return to football after a summer of retirement.

The Patriots did sign Ben Watson this offseason, but Watson will be serving a 4-game suspension due to violated the NFL’s PED policy. Therefore, he too won’t be at tight end for New England when the Steelers head to Foxboro.

You thought the Steelers were thin at tight end? The Patriots will be on their third string tight end when the Sunday Night Fooball kickoff is prepped and ready to go. But this isn’t the only player who could be missing some time at the beginning of the season.

Safety Patrick Chung faces felony cocaine possession charges, which Chung is planning to fight by pleading not guilty.

Since Chung won’t be seen in court until November 8th, it is unknown at this time if the NFL will take a look into the case and hand down their own discipline, something they have certainly done in the past under commissioner Roger Goodell.

Every team has to deal with injuries in a football season, but for Steelers fans who think the team needs help in Week 1 against the defending Super Bowl champions, you might be getting your wish.

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for the 4th preseason game in Carolina vs. the Panthers on Thursday night.