Inactive analysis: Dane Fletcher absence means more time for Steve Beauharnais
|12.22.13 at 3:24 pm ET|
BALTIMORE — The Patriots have announced their inactives for Sunday’s game against the Ravens: left tackle Nate Solder, tight end D.J. Williams, linebacker Dane Fletcher, wide receiver Josh Boyce, wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga, defensive end Jake Bequette. Here’s a quick look at what some of those personnel moves mean, and who will benefit when it comes to playing time.
Solder: The left tackle was downgraded Saturday because of a concussion issue. Expect the Patriots to go with either Logan Mankins or Will Svitek at the left tackle spot.
Williams: The new tight end, who was picked up after Rob Gronkowski went down, was a depth addition. This means more playing time for Michael Hoomananwanui and Matthew Mulligan.
Fletcher: The linebacker has struggled with a groin issue over the course of the week — he was limited as a result, and was getting stretched on the field before the game. Expect rookie Steve Beauharnais to see playing time in his spot as a result. This is just the fourth time Beauharnais has been active this season. He has seen action in just one game, playing in the Jets game at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 20. Beauharnais only saw one special teams snap in the overtime loss to the Jets and has yet to see the field this season on defense.
Sopaga: Sopoaga, who was acquired in a deadline deal with the Eagles, has seen his playing time dip over the last few weeks, as youngster Sealver Siliga has surpassed him on the depth chart. Expect a healthy dose of Siliga again Sunday.
Bequette: The second-year defensive end has been on the shelf for most of the season, having slipped behind Andre Carter on the depth chart when it comes to backing up Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones.
Thompkins and Boyce: Thompkins is missing his third straight game with a hip injury while Boyce is missing his first game with a hip injury suffered on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter last week. This will be the sixth time Boyce has been inactive this season.
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