Unlucky Seven: Who will be Patriots inactives for Sunday’s game against Bengals?
|10.05.13 at 10:20 pm ET|
As is the case each week with each team, the Patriots announce their inactive list 90 minutes before the game. Based now hat we’ve seen this week — and with the understanding that you don’t add bodies to the active roster on Saturday if you’re going to leave them inactive on Sunday — here’s our guess as to who will be the unlucky seven Sunday for New England.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski: Gronkowski expressed optimism this week that he was improving, but added that he was still “day-by-day” at this point. The team downgraded him to out on Saturday. With the release of rookie Zach Sudfeld, Michael Hoomanawanui, Matt Mulligan and fullback James Develin should get extensive work at that tight end/fullback spot, as they have done for most of the year to this point.
Safety Tavon Wilson: Wilson has made his mark on special teams this season, as well as occasionally offering depth at the safety spot. However, a hamstring issue leaves him sidelined — he was one of two guys downgraded on Saturday by the team.
Running back Stevan Ridley: The Patriots’ leading rusher was downgraded on Friday because of a knee issue. Expect lots of carries for LeGarrette Blount in his place.
Special teamer Matthew Slater: The veteran has been sidelined the last few weeks with a wrist injury he suffered earlier in the season. He was back at practice on Friday, a sign he could be back next week, but it’s probably too early at this point considering he was only out there for one day this week. Running back Brandon Bolden — who has also been hampered with a knee injury — should take many of his snaps on special teams if he’s ready to go. (It wouldn’t be a shocker to see newly-activated Kanorris Davis and/or Ja’Gared Davis get more special teams snaps as well.)
Wide receiver Aaron Dobson: The rookie receiver suffered a scary looking neck injury last Sunday against the Falcons, and was limited in practice this week as a result. They don’t play the same receiver spot, but newcomer Austin Collie does have some positional versatility in that he’s played inside and outside, and could take some snaps in place of Dobson.
Linebacker Steve Beauharnais: The linebacker has been a healthy scratch for the last three games, a victim of personnel decisions.
Defensive end Jake Bequette: The second-year lineman out of Arkansas has been passed on the depth chart by rookie Michael Buchanan, and figures to be a healthy scratch.
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