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Week 3 Patriots vs Lions: Trey Flowers among three defensive starters downgraded to “out”

New England will miss three of its core defenders today.

NFL: New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are entering their week three tilt against the Detroit Lions a little bit dinged up. One player has already been declared out on Friday’s final injury report – tight end Jacob Hollister –, and now three more men will join him on the list of inactives. According to the Patriots themselves, they have ruled out defensive edge Trey Flowers, strong safety Patrick Chung, and cornerback Eric Rowe.

All three men suffered their respective injuries during last Sunday’s loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars: Flowers and Chung each suffered concussions during the contest, while Rowe hurt his groin. Considering that they are starters at their respective positions, their ailments and subsequent inactivity later today will lead to some depth players getting bumped up the depth chart.

Expect second-year men Deatrich Wise Jr. and Keionta Davis to join Adrian Clayborn as the top options within the defensive edge rotation with Flowers missing today’s game. Derek Rivers, who was a healthy scratch the last two weeks, should also be active for the first time this season and serve as a depth and situational pass rushing option behind the three men.

The secondary will see more changes: Jason McCourty, who replaced Rowe in the lineup versus the Jaguars, will likely be the next man up at Chung’s safety spot. Consequently, rookies J.C. Jackson and Keion Crossen might see time with the starting defense against one of the NFL’s best passing offenses. Not an ideal situation to be in, but both youngsters have shown plenty of promise over the course of the summer.

With four players now officially out, the Patriots will only have to deactivate three more men until the game. Inactives will be announced 90 minutes before kickoff, so make sure to check back to Pats Pulpit at around 6:50 p.m. ET.