In not even 90 minutes, the New England Patriots will play their 10th game of this year’s regular season, trying to improve to 5-5: the reigning AFC East champions will square off against a Houston Texans team that is heading into the contest with a 2-7 record. Before getting ahead of ourselves, however, let’s take a look at the players on both sides who have been declared inactive and will therefore not participate in today’s contest:
CB Myles Bryant
DT Adam Butler
WR Isaiah Ford
QB Brian Hoyer
RB Sony Michel
RB J.J. Taylor
New England entered the weekend with 15 players listed as questionable on the injury report but no straight deactivations. That number jumped from zero to two on Saturday, however, when Adam Butler (shoulder) and J.J. Taylor (illness) were ruled out after not traveling with the rest of the team to Houston. Four more players were now added to the list, even though none of them was mentioned on Friday’s practice list.
Sony Michel was just activated off injured reserve on Saturday after missing the last six games because of a quad injury, while Myles Bryant, Isaiah Ford and Brian Hoyer are all healthy scratches. This also means that the rest of the Patriots’ questionables is ready to go.
New England will therefore have running back Damien Harris (ankle/chest), wide receivers N’Keal Harry (shoulder) and Matthew Slater (knee), tight end Ryan Izzo (hamstring/hand), offensive linemen Isaiah Wynn (ankle), Joe Thuney (ankle) and Shaq Mason (calf) available. On defense and special teams, linemen Lawrence Guy (shoulder/elbow/knee) and Deatrich Wise Jr. (knee/hand) will be good to go, as will be linebackers John Simon (elbow), Ja’Whaun Bentley (groin) and Terez Hall (shoulder) as well as cornerback Stephon Gilmore (knee) and kicker Nick Folk (back).
The biggest name on that list is, of course, Stephon Gilmore. The NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year was out the last three games after tweaking his knee in practice ahead of Week 8’s contest in Buffalo. While it remains to be seen how many snaps Gilmore will be given in his return, just having him back on the field makes New England’s secondary and defense as a whole a better one.
QB Josh McCown
FB Cullen Gillaspia
G Senio Kelemete
WR Isaiah Coulter
S Michael Thomas
DE Nate Orchard
The most prominent player to be listed among Houston’s inactives is Laremy Tunsil. The team’s starting left tackle has been in for every offensive snap this season, but did not participate in practice all week because of an illness.