FOXBORO -- It's not looking good for Malcolm Mitchell's chances of playing this year.
When the Patriots took the Gillette Stadium turf on Wednesday afternoon, the second-year wideout was not with them. By 4 p.m. on Wednesday, the Patriots have to make a decision as to whether or not they will activate him off of injured reserve.
If he's not activated, the Patriots will roll with Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, Phillip Dorsett and Kenny Britt at receiver.
Mitchell has been at practice, off and on, for three weeks. He was present for their previous practice last Thursday before taking on the Titans in the Divisional Round. If he were to be activated, he would give the Patriots a trusted threat on the outside -- which could help the Patriots attack Jacksonville's defense, as Jerod Mayo explained this week on Quick Slants the Podcast. But as of right now it's not looking like he'll be available.
Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell won’t play Saturday night against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Divisional Playoff.
Mitchell practiced Thursday but was not activated off injured reserve by the 4 p.m. Friday deadline to be eligible for the Pats playoff opener at Gillette Stadium.
If the Patriots win, they’ll have until Wednesday at 4 p.m. to activate Mitchell for the AFC Championship Game.
Mitchell, after an impressive rookie season in 2016, has been on IR all season with a knee injury.
FOXBORO -- The Patriots had all 53 players on the active roster, and one other potential contributor, back on the field for Thursday's practice. It was a rare instance of the team having perfect attendance for a late-season practice.
Running back Mike Gillislee (knee) and linebacker Marquis Flowers (illness) both were present for the workout after missing Wednesday's session. Malcolm Mitchell, who missed the team's first two practices this week, was also on the field and seemed to be in good spirits during warmups.
Mitchell is still on injured reserve, but he can be activated to the roster at any point. In order to play in the Divisional Round, he'll have to be activated by Friday afternoon.
When asked Thursday morning if the Patriots planned on having Mitchell back at any point during the postseason, Bill Belichick deflected.
"I don’t know," he said. "I’ll certainly let you know as soon as – if that happens, we’ll let you know as soon as possible. There won’t be a second of delay."
Gillislee missed the regular-season finale against the Jets with a knee issue, and Thursday marked his first practice since playing against the Bills in Week 16.