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Inactive analysis: Aaron Dobson ready to go while Kenbrell Thompkins is sidelined for AFC title game

01.19.14 at 1:39 pm ET
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GAMEDAY is finally here for Patriots and Broncos in AFC Championship. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

GAMEDAY is finally here for Patriots and Broncos in AFC Championship. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

DENVER — The following players were announced as inactive for Sunday’s Patriots-Broncos game: offensive lineman Chris Barker, linebacker Steve Beauharnais, defensive end Jake Bequette, defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga, tight end D.J. Williams, cornerback Justin Green and wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins. Here’s what the moves mean for Sunday’s game.

Thompkins: The rookie receiver has been hindered by a hip issue that has plagued him for the last month-plus. Then, last Saturday, after playing 38 snaps against the Colts, he suffered a concussion. Expect more reps for fellow rookie Aaron Dobson, who will be active for his first career playoff game against the Broncos after sitting out against the Colts.

Barker: The rookie guard out of Nevada has been on a developmental track most of the season as the eighth — and last — offensive lineman on the depth chart. The fact that he’s inactive means the Patriots probably feel pretty good about the health of the rest of the offensive line.

Beauharnais: The rookie linebacker out of Rutgers, who was downgraded during the week because of a stomach bug, has spent much of the year as a developmental prospect.

Bequette: The second-year defensive end takes his 12th healthy scratch of the year. Much like most of the previous 11, expect veteran Andre Carter and rookie Michael Buchanan to see most of the reps in his place.

Sopoaga: The veteran defensive lineman, who was acquired in a deadline deal with the Eagles, started his career in New England with a bang, but has been surpassed on the depth chart by youngster Sealver Siliga.

Williams: The third tight end gets edged out by Matthew Mulligan and Michael Hoomanawanui in hopes of adding some depth at other positions.

Green: The rookie defensive back out of Illinois has played in two games this season, and has been a depth presence in the secondary and when it comes to special teams.

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