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Week 1 Patriots vs Chiefs: Special teamers Matthew Slater, Nate Ebner among New England's game-day inactives

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The Patriots and Chiefs have announced their inactive players for tonight's game.

NFL: AFC Championship-Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

In a little more than one hour, the 2017 NFL season will be underway and the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs will play the first game of the year. The two teams are both missing key contributors who had to be placed on injured reserve during the offseason but other than that appear to be relatively healthy.

A look at tonight's game day inactives shows this:

New England Patriots

The Patriots listed Vincent Valentine as doubtful on Wednesday's final injury report after the second-year defensive tackle had missed all three of this week's practices. His inactivity is therefore no surprise. New England also opted to deactive core special teamers Matthew Slater and Nate Ebner for tonight's game. Both have been listed as “questionable” and were limited throughout practice this week.

While none of the other deactivations will likely hurt the Patriots tonight, losing Slater and Ebner definitely is a blow in the kicking game – especially when going against a punt returner as talented as the Chiefs' Tyreek Hill. Fellow special teamers Brandon King and Jonathan Jones are two of the players needed to step up tonight to limit Hill's potential impact.

New England's recent trade acquisitions, on the other hand, are all active: Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, defensive lineman Cassius Marsh and cornerback Johnson Bademosi will make their Patriots debut tonight. The same goes for recent practice squad promotion Ted Karras, who filled the roster spot once occupied by wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, who was placed on injured reserve today.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs' inactives look as follows: