In a little more than an hour, the New England Patriots will play their eighth game of the season. Against the visiting Los Angeles Chargers, the team will try to improve its record to 6-2 and to further strengthen its lead in the division as well as gain momentum heading into its bye week.
Unfortunately, the Patriots will have to accomplish all that without some core contributors available. A look at today's list of inactives shows just that:
DT Malcom Brown
OT Cole Croston
OT Cameron Fleming
CB Stephon Gilmore
DE Geneo Grissom
LB Dont'a Hightower
CB Eric Rowe
Malcom Brown (ankle), Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) and Eric Rowe (groin) have already been ruled out on Friday as part of the Patriots' final injury report. Hightower recently underwent surgery and is expected to miss the remainder of the 2017 season while Rowe and Brown will both likely return at some point after the bye week.
The trio, all core defenders, is joined on the inactives list by another big name: Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore, the high-priced offseason acquisition, has been dealing with a concussion (as well as an ankle injury) suffered during week five and has only recently returned to practice. Apparently, he is not yet ready to perform in a game, though. In his and Rowe's place, Johnson Bademosi and Jonathan Jones will see increased roles again.
The rest of the seven inactives – offensive tackles Cole Croston and Cameron Fleming as well as defensive edge Geneo Grissom – are all depth players at this point in time. Neither being out is a surprise.
While New England will miss some important defenders, linebacker Elandon Roberts (ankle) will return after missing last week's game and being listed as questionable on Friday. The team will also see two core members of the offense be active despite their “questionable” status on Friday's final injury report: Wide receiver Danny Amendola (knee) and offensive tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle) will both be active for today's game against the Chargers.
For comparison, the Chargers' inactives look as follows:
Our #LACvsNE inactives:— #LACvsNE (@Chargers) October 29, 2017
QB C. Jones
WR G. Davis
RB A. Williams
T T. Marz
T J. Barksdale
TE S. Culkin
DE J. Attaochu