The list of injured New England Patriots players has grown to 24, and Coach Bill Belichick sees a link to being Super Bowl champions.
Belichick says consistently going deep in the playoffs means players have less recovery time and that leads to more players missing time in training camp.
Center Bryan Stork, rookie defensive tackle Malcolm Brown and running back LeGarrette Blount didn't suit up Saturday after being injured a day earlier. Later, running back Travaris Cadet walked off the field with a trainer and kicked the ground in disgust.
"That's really been a big challenge for us over the last 15 years," Belichick said. "It's a good problem to have, obviously, you want to play long into the season. But it definitely shortens the time period for the players to recover and be ready for the next year."
With all the players banged up and Brady's impending four-game suspension for his alleged role in deflating footballs in the AFC title game, there is much uncertainty on the depth chart.
"It's definitely something that we've had to deal with through the years," said Belichick, who has led New England to four Super Bowl titles. "Particularly a year like this, where a lot of players after the length of the season and what happened at the end of the season, some postseason activities and parades and this and that.
"Sometimes (rehab) gets pushed another week, 10 days, two weeks back, which comes up here on the other end."
The Patriots are so thin at receiver it's unlikely they could have scrimmaged during their third straight workout in full pads. The Patriots host Green Bay in their exhibition opener Thursday.