Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
The bye week could not have come at a better time for the Patriots.
The Patriots improved to 5-3 on Sunday afternoon with a win over the Rams in London. Despite their solid record and standing in the AFC East, the team reaches their bye week at the most opportune time.
New England has been battered with injuries all season. For some players, such as Rob Gronkowski or Wes Welker, they've been able to still play despite not being 100 percent. Gronkowski has battled a hip injury all season long and has been limited in practice, although he's yet to miss any games. Welker has had problems with his ankle since Week 7 and has been on the wrong end of some big hits, but the veteran receiver has also been able to suit up for every game.
Other players have not been as fortunate. Tight end Aaron Hernandez has missed most of the season with an ankle injury, including Week 8. It appears the ankle has not responded well to treatment and could continue be a problem. Rookie linebacker Dont'a Hightower has been limited with a hamstring injury in recent weeks, although it seems he will be back to full strength sooner rather than later.
Backup skill players Brandon Bolden and Julian Edelman have been out the last few weeks after strong starts to the season, and it's unclear when they'll return to the field.