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Patriots announce week 3 inactives vs Texans, including LB Dont’a Hightower, QB Jimmy Garoppolo

The Patriots have made the following players inactive.

The New England Patriots have announced the inactives for week 3 against the Houston Texans.

QB Jimmy Garoppolo is inactive, which means that QB Jacoby Brissett is definitely the starter and WR Julian Edelman is the back-up quarterback.

LB Dont’a Hightower is inactive, too, but after a good week of practice he seems like a fair bet to return in week 4 against the Bills. The Patriots will rely on LB Jonathan Freeny, who had a surprisingly strong game against the Dolphins.

OG Jonathan Cooper and CB Eric Rowe are dealing with injuries and are closing in on their debuts. OG Shaq Mason will likely be the starting guard, while Rowe is still learning the playbook.

OT LaAdrian Waddle is firmly behind OT Cameron Fleming in the depth chart and is a healthy scratch for the second straight week.

RB D.J. Foster and TE AJ Derby have been outplayed by their veteran counterparts. TE Clay Harbor played very well against the Dolphins as a blocker and should see a bigger role.

Waddle, Foster, and Derby are likely roster casualties when QB Tom Brady and ED Rob Ninkovich return from their suspensions.

And, importantly, TE Rob Gronkowski is active for the first time all season! Happy days for all fans of football. DT Anthony Johnson will also be active after being a healthy scratch last week.

Here are the Texans inactives:

There are no surprises here.