Out: Slater, Gillislee, BKing, Daniels, Davis, Hightower, McClellin, Garcia, Waddle, Jelks, Solder, Lengel, Wise, Grissom, Rivers.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 19, 2017
ST Matthew Slater, Brandon King
Look for Jonathan Jones to receive more time on special teams as one of the gunners. Slater and King are two of the Patriots three best special teamers, along with Nate Ebner, so the depth behind these players will be fun to watch.
RB Mike Gillislee, LeShun Daniels
Rex Burkhead should make his debut and the snap distribution with James White and Dion Lewis should be interesting. Look for Brandon Bolden and D.J. Foster to play the whole second half with Daniels out.
TE Matt Lengel
Is Rob Gronkowski playing? We’ll find out and he’s apparently warming up like he’s going to play, but we’d be surprised if he did. Dwayne Allen should play and James O’Shaughnnessy and Jacob Hollister should see time with the starting unit.
OT Nate Solder, LaAdrian Waddle, Tony Garcia, Andrew Jelks
Marcus Cannon will line up opposite of Cameron Fleming, but there is very little depth behind these two. Conor McDermott, Cole Croston, and Max Rich are the other tackles on the roster and should play most of the second half.
EDGE Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek RIvers, Geneo Grissom, Keionta Davis
LB Dont’a Hightower, Shea McClellin
We’re grouping these together because both Hightower and McClellin play on the edge at times in the 5-man front. With all of these players sidelined, it looks like Trey Flowers, Kony Ealy, and Caleb Kidder are the only healthy edge defenders on the roster, meaning linebackers like Kyle Van Noy and Harvey Langi could see time on the edge.
But with Hightower and McClellin out, someone has to line up next to David Harris, and that player is probably Van Noy. There are other linebackers like Elandon Roberts and Jonathan Freeny, too, so there are alternative options.