Inactive analysis for the Patriots
|11.21.11 at 7:20 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots announced that the following players were inactive for Monday’s game against the Chiefs: quarterback Ryan Mallett, safety Patrick Chung, cornerback Devin McCourty, running back Kevin Faulk and linebackers Dane Fletcher, Jeff Tarpinian and Brandon Spikes.
The biggest names missing are Chung and McCourty, which will leave the Patriots thin in the secondary. This is the second consecutive week that Chung (foot) will sit out, while McCourty suffered a shoulder injury when he collided with teammate Sterling Moore in the first half of last week’s game against the Jets and did not return. Expect more snaps for Moore and James Ihedigbo at safety. (The Patriots do have some depth at the safety spot with Sergio Brown and Ross Ventrone, the latter of whom was re-signed to New England’s active roster earlier on Monday.)
The Patriots will also be without three linebackers in Fletcher, Spikes and Tarpinian. Fletcher (thumb) and Spikes (knee) have already been out for an extended stretch, while Tarpinian (illness) has struggled over the last week to stay on the field. Gary Guyton was banged up last week with a shoulder problem, but should get more work this week because of the injury situation.
Two names on the offensive side of the ball who could get more reps because they’re active are wide receiver Taylor Price and running back Shane Vereen. Both have been used sparingly this season, as Price has struggled to see the field because of a hamstring problem while the rookie Vereen has been squeezed out because of a numbers game. (With Faulk on the sidelines Monday night, it likely gave Vereen the opportunity to at least dress for the game.)