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A closer look at the Patriots inactives for Thursday’s game against New York

11.22.12 at 7:12 pm ET

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The following players were inactive for Thursday’s game against the Jets: Sebastian Vollmer, Logan Mankins, Rob Gronkowski, Chandler Jones, Jake Bequette, Markus Zusevics and Marquice Cole.

Vollmer has been hampered by a back and knee injury as of late, while Mankins has been slowed by calf and ankle problems. Expect the Patriots to go with Donald Thomas in place of Mankins, while Marcus Cannon will likely see the bulk of the reps in place of Vollmer at right tackle. (And Dan Connolly appears ready to resume his role as the starting right guard in the roster after a week on the sidelines.)

Jones went down with an ankle issue last week against the Colts — in his place, expect to see Jermaine Cunningham and Trevor Scott see the bulk of the reps. (It will be interesting to see if they flip Rob Ninkovich from one side to the other defensive end spot like they did last week when Jones initially went down.)

No shock on Gronkowski, Bequette and Zusevics — the big tight end had surgery for an arm injury in the waning moments of the win over the Colts, while Bequette is a rookie who has been a healthy scratch more often than not this season. And Zusevics was activated just before the game, which means it was no surprise he’ll be on the sidelines this week.

Two names who aren’t on the list stick out. First, tight end Aaron Hernandez will be back in the lineup after am extended stretch on the shelf because of an ankle injury that has dogged him since a Week 2 loss to the Cardinals. And second, the fact that safety Patrick Chung is healthy will create an intriguing mix in the secondary. With Chung, Steve Gregory and Devin McCourty all healthy, how to the Patriots utilize their safeties? And with Cole not in the lineup, does the lack of depth at that spot make New England move McCouty back to corner.



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