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Patriots vs. Broncos: McDonald, Mallett Patriots Final Inactives

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The Patriots have announced their final list of inactives for their 4:15 PM game against the Denver Broncos:

Deion Branch, WR

Ryan Mallett, QB

Nick McDonald, C

Sebastian Vollmer, T

Pat Chung, S

Brandon Spikes, LB

Shane Vereen, RB

Thoughts:

  • Mallett and McDonald are the two additions to the inactive list. Mallett is the third quarterback, so no surprises there. McDonald being inactive is a bit of a surprise for the Patriots. McDonald had started at center the past two weeks, with Dan Connolly out and Ryan Wendell batting through injury as well. I think this move speaks a lot about the Patriots' depth chart at center.
  • In terms of the Patriots' other inactives, the Patriots were expected to be without Patrick Chung and Sebastian Vollmer. Neither traveled with the team and they were not expected to play. Unfortunately, Chung seems to have suffered a setback, and there is no telling when he will be
  • The other Patriots inactives, announced last night, included Brandon Spikes, Shane Vereen, and Deion Branch. The big absences there are Spikes and Branch. Despite being questionable, it didn't look as if Spikes would be ready to play this week. He appears closer to a return, and I think we could see him next week against the Dolphins, but definitely by week 17 against the Bills. Deion Branch's groin injury held him out of the end of last week's game against the Redskins, and it will be interesting to see how it treats him going forward. Without Branch, the Patriots are without their #2 wide receiver. Chad Ochocinco, Tiquan Underwood, and Julian Edelman will be in line for those snaps.