The New England Patriots announced that they have downgraded five players to out for tomorrow's season opener against the Buffalo Bills:
RB Brandon Bolden
WR Aaron Dobson
S Nate Ebner
S Duron Harmon
TE Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski, listed as doubtful, wasn't expected to play. In his absence, the Patriots will play rookie Zach Sudfeld and veteran Michael Hoomanawanui.
Dobson's absence is a bit of a surprise, as he didn't miss any preseason action with his hamstring injury and he was expected to be a rotational deep threat in the Patriots' receiving corps. With Dobson out, expect more snaps for fellow rookie Josh Boyce and veteran Julian Edelman. Kenbrell Thompkins is expected to start on the outside opposite Danny Amendola.
With both Nate Ebner and Duron Harmon out, the Patriots are a bit thin at safety. Tavon Wilson will slide ahead of Harmon on the depth chart, while Marquice Cole could also play a pinch at safety if necessary.
With five total players ruled out, the Patriots will only have to declare two more inactives for the 46-man active gameday roster tomorrow.