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Patriots Inactives: Light, Chung, Spikes, Brace All Out

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The Patriots have released their list of gameday inactives:

Matt Light, T

Pat Chung, S

Brandon Spikes, LB

Ron Brace, DL

Shane Vereen, RB

Ryan Mallett, QB

Sebastian Vollmer, T

Thoughts:

  • As we previously discussed, Matt Light will sit out the game with a leg injury that wasn't disclosed on the team's injury report. With Light and Vollmer both out, the Patriots will likely start Nate Solder at left tackle and Marcus Cannon at right tackle. The Dolphins usually run Cameron Wake at LOLB, so it should prove a difficult match for Marcus Cannon in his first career start. The Patriots could also choose to rotate in Donald Thomas, who has almost been exclusively used as a short yardage fullback, at tackle.
  • Earlier in the week, safety Patrick Chung looked like a pretty sure thing to make a return to the field. Still a game time decision, apparently the doctors felt that Chung still wasn't good to go. That makes it seven straight missed games for Chung. Along those lines, Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes, also a game time decision, is also a no go. Like Chung, Spikes is missing his seventh straight game for an MCL injury that was originally described as "week-to-week."
  • Shane Vereen was a game-time decision, but with four other healthy backs on the roster, the inactive status isn't a surprise. Ryan Mallett, as the third quarterback, was also expected to be inactive.
  • The Patriots will have a full house at wide receiver, with veteran Deion Branch returning from a groin injury.
  • Ron Brace is a surprise healthy scratch for the Patriots. He played well at LE in the 3-4 base defense last week, forcing a fumble that led to a key turnover. Nonetheless, the Patriots instead turn to recently signed rookie free agent Alex Silvestro. Could be a sign that the Patriots plan on using more of their sub-packages than base defense.