FOXBORO -- Rex Burkhead insisted he'd heard some "good news" about his knee injury recently that had him amped up for the postseason. The news disseminated to the general public on Saturday morning wasn't quite as positive.
According to ESPN, Burkhead is not expected to be able to play in the Divisional Round matchup between the Patriots and Titans as he continues to deal with an injury he suffered in Week 15 against the Steelers. Burkhead practiced last week but was limited in all three sessions. He's listed as questionable.
Patriots’ RBs Rex Burkhead (knee) and Mike Gillislee (knee), both listed as questionable for tonight’s Divisional Playoff game against the Titans, are not expected to play, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2018
Burkhead met with reporters earlier this week, which was taken as a sign he was progressing and could have a shot to play.
"I'm just excited . . . After the injury, you never know what is going to happen so that's always in the back of your head," he said at the time. "But when you get good news, it helps you to look forward to these games a little better."
Without Burkhead, the Patriots will rely on Dion Lewis and James White out of the backfield Saturday night. That should be enough in terms of pass-catching prowess for Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady to take care of Tennessee's abysmal work in coverage against receiving backs. They are allowing a league-high 58.3 yards per game on 8.7 targets.
White has not seen game action since suffering an ankle injury in the regular-season matchup with the Steelers, but the plan all week has been for him to be in uniform. He's listed as questionable but will be a go.
Mike Gillislee, who has not played since Week 16 with a knee injury of his own, is not expected to play. He practiced just once this week and was limited. He's also listed as questionable.