Patriots inactives analysis: Patrick Chung won’t play
|11.13.11 at 7:24 pm ET|
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Patriots announced the following players as inactives for Sunday’s game against the Jets: linebackers Dane Fletcher and Brandon Spikes; quarterback Ryan Mallett; wide receiver Taylor Price; offensive lineman Donald Thomas; running back Shane Vereen and safety Patrick Chung.
The big news here is that Chung is out. The Oregon product, who suffered a right foot injury late in last week’s loss to the Giants, will sit for the second time this season. (He was inactive for the Week Three loss to the Bills because of a thumb injury.) He was on the field in sweats during warmups, but is apparently unable to give it a go against the Jets. It leaves the Patriots perilously thin at the safety spot, as New England will have Sterling Moore, James Ihedigbo, Sergio Brown and Ross Ventrone at the safety spot for the game.
Michele Tafoya of Sunday Night Football reported 40 minutes before kickoff that Moore, who was signed just this week off the practice squad, will get his first NFL career start.
The other mild surprise is that Price appears to be unavailable again because of a lingering hamstring issue. The young wide receiver has struggled to see the field over the course of his career and was a late scratch last week against the Giants because of a hamstring problem. Price’s absence could mean more reps for wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. The rest of the inactives aren’t a surprise for several reasons. Both Fletcher and Spikes were downgraded to “out” on Friday, while Mallett, Vereen and Thomas are all healthy scratches.
As far as who isn’t on the list of inactives, tackle Nate Solder was downgraded to questionable late in the week because of a concussion, but it sounds like he’s good to go this week. (He was on the field during pregame warmups working with defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick giving it a shot, and it looks like he passed the test.) In addition, linebacker/defensive end Jermaine Cunningham was a healthy scratch the last two weeks, but will get the call against the Jets. And Shaun Ellis missed last week’s game against the Giants because of a rib injury he suffered against the Steelers, but will suit up against his old team. (It will be interesting to see how Ellis’ presence affects Deaderick, who picked up a lot of snaps last week in the absences of the veteran.)
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