In an unfortunate twist, the New England Patriots are going to face the Pittsburgh Steelers with their third string center. With starter Bryan Stork on the short-term Injured Reserve, veteran Ryan Wendell was expected to be the next man up. Wendell, however, has been listed as a game day inactive by the Patriots. The full list is below:
C Ryan Wendell - With Wendell out, it's likely that undrafted free agent rookie David Andrews will receive the starting snaps. This is less than ideal as Andrews lacks the NFL-level strength to succeed every down. Josh Kline will be the team's top back-up center.
ED Trey Flowers - Flowers had been battling an injury so his inactivity is likely related to ensuring his 100% health before he takes the field.
RB Travaris Cadet - As Cadet hasn't practiced, this isn't a surprise, but it gives James White and Dion Lewis another week to separate themselves as impact players.
ED Rufus Johnson - Johnson is inactive, which means that Eric Martin and Geneo Grissom will be backing up Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, and Jabaal Sheard on the edge.
S Tavon Wilson - It looks like Wilson has been edged by Nate Ebner in the special teams department.
DT Khyri Thornton - Thornton just joined the team and is unlikely to fully know the play book.
CB Justin Coleman - See above.
The following Steelers have been deemed inactive: