The New England Patriots are looking to stave off an upset in Foxborough when the Dallas Cowboys visit in Week 12, and there's a good chance that just became a bit more difficult -- thanks to the injury bug. The team was forced to begin practice this week without wide receiver Mohamed Sanu on the field, who suffered what's being described as a high ankle sprain on a punt return in their Week 11 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

As is usually the case with such an injury -- also taking into account varying levels of severity/grade -- the challenge to return to the field one week later becomes a steep challenge. Sanu is no different in this regard and, to that point, it's reportedly likely he'll not only miss the coming battle on Sunday with the Cowboys, per Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston, but he could miss several weeks with the ankle sprain. 

This is of course bad news for a Patriots offense that's come under fire recently for their production struggles, having to now figure things out without a key receiver (and punt returner) on the field.

Sanu, who landed in New England by way of a trade deadline deal with the Atlanta Falcons, had a slow start in his debut before delivering 81 receiving yards and a touchdown in his mulligan effort against the Baltimore Ravens, but it wasn't enough to keep the Patriots from suffering their first loss of the season. It's unclear when he'll return to the field, but it doesn't appear it'll be in the next couple of weeks, barring a drastically rapid improvement.

The blow of losing Sanu is worsened by fellow wideout Philip Dorsett also dealing with injury, currently working to clear the league's concussion protocol so that he can return to practice and have a shot at playing the Cowboys. If both sit, it places a ton of strain on the Patriots passing game, leaving Tom Brady and Julian Edelman to deliver a win with the aid of rookie receivers Jakobi Meyers and N'Keal Harry, who both combine for a total of 197 receiving yards and zero touchdowns in 2019.

They'd also need more from their unimpressive tight end unit, making for what could be a long day for an already frustrated Brady.