With no Patriots on injury report, inactive players come into focus – New England Patriots Blog


Highlighting some sizzling matters with the New England Patriots within the type of a mailbag:

Charlie, Tremendous Bowl LII would be the first recreation this season that the Patriots will not have any gamers inactive due to damage, as everybody was faraway from the damage report Friday. That ought to make the selections on the 46-man roster pretty clear-cut. That is what I’d venture:

  • DT Alan Branch: After injuring his knee Dec. 11 in opposition to Miami, he has but to play once more, with Ricky Jean Francois getting the nod over him, whilst Department returned to full well being.

  • WR Kenny Britt: Signed to a two-year deal by means of 2018, he’ll have a greater likelihood to emerge subsequent season with a full offseason within the system; he has been inactive the previous 5 video games.

  • OL Cole Croston: The undrafted free agent from Iowa has been the eighth of eight linemen all season, and the group could have its ordinary seven linemen lively on recreation day.

  • RB Mike Gillislee: He opened the season No. 1 on the depth chart earlier than Dion Lewis took over Oct. 15 in opposition to the Jets and by no means gave again the job. Gillislee’s lack of contributions on prime special-teams models have damage his case for a spot.

  • LB David Harris: Coach Invoice Belichick has raved about his professionalism all season, however Harris hasn’t performed in every of the previous 4 video games.

  • TE Jacob Hollister: The undrafted free agent from Wyoming was inactive within the AFC Championship Recreation, as he was the participant affected most by the general well being of the roster bettering.

  • PR Bernard Reedy: He was signed to a deal by means of 2018 when he returned to the membership on Jan. 17, so his likelihood to interrupt by means of will come subsequent 12 months.

Ryan, I’d reframe the context of the query as a result of Schiano would not must interview for a job with the Patriots. He’s so shut with Belichick that I consider he might be employed tomorrow if he advised Belichick he was curious about becoming a member of his employees in an identical kind of position that Belichick had below Invoice Parcells in 1996 (assistant head coach working with a selected place). That might all the time occur, however at this level, I am undecided it has reached that degree.

Eli, the Eagles’ prime three receivers of Alshon Jeffery (6-foot-Three, 216 kilos), Torrey Smith (6-Zero, 205) and Nelson Agholor (6-Zero, 198) might be the important thing to the sport, by way of their capacity to make performs in aggressive catch conditions in opposition to Stephon Gilmore (6-1, 190), Malcolm Butler (5-11, 190) and Eric Rowe (6-1, 205). I believe the Patriots can run with them, though Smith, specifically, can fly. On paper, I do not see a serious benefit both means, so I believe it is simply going to come back all the way down to which aspect makes the performs. The Patriots’ corners have proven they will do this. The Eagles’ receivers have proven they will do this. It is a part of what makes this a compelling matchup.

Stephen, Butler was requested this week if he’d be curious about a return to the Patriots and he left the door open. So I view it as a scenario the place the open market in all probability will dictate the place Butler winds up — if one other group presents the most effective deal, he’ll in all probability be enjoying elsewhere subsequent season. It is laborious to venture what kind of deal that may be. Final 12 months, when Butler was approaching his restricted free-agent offseason, the Patriots had proven a willingness to increase his contract, however the sides could not come to an settlement. So the membership envisioned a future with Butler, which I believe is necessary, and the context is that they simply could not agree on value. Now the dynamics change as a result of Butler can discover the open market with no restrictions, and that may be an awesome mediator of types to let him know what he is price and if regardless of the Patriots would supply is near his market worth.

Jim, my feeling is that that is Dion Lewis‘ job, with James White the dependable passing again, and people two ought to see the vast majority of the work. Rex Burkhead might be referred to as upon within the “pony” grouping when two working backs are on the sector collectively, after which built-in into the combo often, with potential goal-line concerns relying on how the sport unfolds. Whereas the group has apparent confidence in Burkhead, Lewis and White have performed the vast majority of snaps down the stretch and it is laborious for me to see the group going away from them in a serious shift on this recreation.

Brendan, it is a nice query and it offers a possibility to cross alongside some perception on how the Patriots view the Eagles. In contrast to another golf equipment, the Patriots have famous that the Eagles construct their roster equally by way of devoting some vital spots to special-teams-only gamers, so it is going to be a problem to match what they do. Captain Matthew Slater identified that Kamu Grugier-Hill — a 2016 sixth-round choose of the Patriots — is certainly one of their core gamers. Additionally, the Eagles gave the Patriots’ particular groups some hassle the final time the groups met, as their coach, Dave Fipp, is broadly revered. From the big-picture perspective, one of many issues that overlaying Belichick’s groups has opened my eyes to over time is viewing the sport by means of the three-phase prism, with particular groups an enormous a part of it. The Patriots have had a very good season on particular groups, rating third in Rick Gosselin’s annual rankings. The Eagles had been 13th.

Scott, my view on that’s that it is extra of a friendship factor for Belichick, as he is shut with Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau, and the timing labored as a result of a lot of the work is finished for the Patriots at this level. A giant a part of Tremendous Bowl week will not be peaking too early, so issues are slow-played a bit. I can perceive why it would look dangerous for him to be out at a recreation for 1 / 4, however given the place they’re at this level of the work week, I do not see it as an enormous deal in any respect. If it had been final Tuesday (two days after the AFC Championship Recreation) once they had been grinding to prepare on the Eagles, that may be a unique story.



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