Unlucky Seven: Who will be Patriots inactives for Thursday game against Jets?
|09.12.13 at 4:13 pm ET|
The Patriots will announce their inactives roughly 90 minutes before kickoff Thursday night, but based on what we’ve seen this (shortened) week, here’s our best guess as to who will be the seven who will sit against the Jets:
TE Rob Gronkowski: The big tight end remains a regular fixture at practice over the course of the week, but was listed as limited throughout the week and doubtful on Wednesday’s report, so it would be a reach to see him out there against the Jets. For what it’s worth, the over/under on Gronk’s return is still between Week 3 and Week 4. Expect lots of snaps for Michael Hoomanawanui as a result.
WR Danny Amendola: When it comes to public perception, the receiver is well aware of the baggage he carries when it comes to his injury history, so the thinking is he’s going to be back in the lineup sooner rather than later. But a groin injury hindered him in the season opening win over the Bills, and left him limited over the course of the week and doubtful on the Wednesday injury report. Julian Edelman will likely see the bulk of snaps in his place.
DL Chris Jones: The former Tampa Bay lineman was claimed by the Patriots off waivers on Wednesday afternoon, which would make for a ridiculously fast turnaround for anyone, let alone a rookie. Look for Joe Vellano to again serve as the primary backup along the defensive line.
S Nate Ebner: The second-year defensive back out of Ohio State has struggled the last two weeks with an ankle issue, and was inactive for last Sunday’s game against the Bills. On a short week, the team might try to play it safe with the special teamer. However, if they feel they’re thin along the back line (as was the case last week against the Bills, when rookie Duron Harmon and Ebner were out), they could try and push him. In an emergency, the Patriots could always turn to veteran Marquice Cole, who does have some positional versatility when it comes to the secondary, as well as Edelman and Matthew Slater, who have both pulled part-time duty at defensive back in year’s past.
S Duron Harmon: Harmon also missed the opener against the Bills, as he’s been dogged by a hamstring that had him limited over the course of the week and left him questionable on Wednesday’s injury report. As is the case with Ebner, if New England feels it needs more depth at safety, they could try and push it with the rookie, but the feeling here is that New York doesn’t present the sort of challenge in the passing game that another team later in the year might. (New Orleans?) As a result, if you’re going to be short at safety, this is one of those weeks you might be able to risk it.
OL Will Svitek: The veteran has displayed nice positional versatility, but was still sporting a sizable knee brace in the locker room this week, the result of an injury he sustained toward the end of camp/preseason. Look for Marcus Cannon to assume the role of No. 1 backup at guard and tackle against the Jets.
RB/KR Leon Washington: One of the running backs will draw the short straw against the Jets, and our guess is that it will be Washington, who was re-signed last week in the hours leading up to the Bills game but was a scratch. He’s been dealing with a thigh injury that has left him limited over the course of the week, and was listed as questionable on Wednesday’s report.