In not even 90 minutes, the New England Patriots will play their 15th game of the 2017 season. To improve to 12-3, the team will have to defeat the visiting Buffalo Bills but will have to do so without some key players as a look at the list of inactive players for the matchup shows:
RB Rex Burkhead
DT Alan Branch
OT Cole Croston
WR Chris Hogan
LB Trevor Reilly
LB Kyle Van Noy
RB James White
Rex Burkhead and Alan Branch were already declared out on Friday, while both Chris Hogan and James White were reportedly expected to miss the contest as well - a report that turned out true as both were now declared inactive by the team. Hogan's role in the offense, as has been the case last week, will likely be replaced by a mix of Phillip Dorsett and recently acquired Kenny Britt.
White's inactivity, on the other hand, led to running back Mike Gillislee being active for the first time since New England's week eight game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The first-year Patriot will likely see a heavy workload as the early-down back, with Dion Lewis and Brandon Bolden teaming up to fill White's shoes as the third down and no-huddle running back.
Furthermore, the Patriots also opted to deactivate one more player listed as questionable on Friday's final injury report: Starting linebacker Kyle Van Noy will miss his third straight game due to a calf injury and will again be replaced by a mix of Elandon Roberts and David Harris. The remaining two inactive players, Trevor Reilly and Cole Croston, are depth options at this point.
Starting left tackle Nate Solder, who was a late addition to the injury report yesterday because of an illness, is active for the game.
The Bills' inactive players look as follows: