In not even 90 minutes, the New England Patriots will play their eighth game of this year’s regular season, trying to improve to 3-5: the reigning AFC East champions will square off against a New York Jets team that is heading into the contest with a 0-8 record and an eye on the first overall draft pick next year. 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:
LB Ja’Whaun Bentley
CB Stephon Gilmore
DT Lawrence Guy
WR N’Keal Harry
QB Brian Hoyer
TE Dalton Keene
RB J.J. Taylor
Before the Patriots released their inactives list, six players who would sit out the contest against the Jets were already known. N’Keal Harry (concussion) and J.J. Taylor (illness) were ruled out as part of the final injury report on Saturday, with Ja’Whaun Bentley (groin), Stephon Gilmore (knee) and Lawrence Guy (shoulder/elbow/knee) joining them on Sunday. Monday, meanwhile, saw the addition of Dalton Keene (knee) to the list.
This left only one player to join the star-studded inactives list, and his name making it is no surprise: third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer is the seventh inactive, missing his fourth game in a row after being supplanted on the depth chart by second-year man Jarrett Stidham. Hoyer started the Patriots’ Week 4 game in Kansas City but was benched in favor of Stidham after a disastrous performance. The veteran has served as QB3 ever since.
The inactives list also confirms that a large portion of New England’s injury report will be good to go, at least when judged by this current perspective.
Of the 17 men listed as questionable on Saturday, 13 will be active against the Jets: running back Damien Harris (ankle), tight end Ryan Izzo (hamstring), offensive linemen Isaiah Wynn (ankle), Joe Thuney (ankle) and Shaq Mason (calf), defensive linemen Carl Davis (concussion) and Deatrich Wise Jr. (knee/hand), linebackers John Simon (elbow) and Shilique Calhoun (knee), defensive backs J.C. Jackson (knee), Kyle Dugger (ankle), and Cody Davis (calf), and kicker Nick Folk (back).
While there are plenty of noteworthy names on this list, Kyle Dugger’s still stands out. The Patriots’ highest draft pick this year missed the previous two games but will return tonight to offer some depth in the secondary — one that will be without the NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Stephon Gilmore, for a second straight week.
LB Blake Cashman
OL Cameron Clark
QB Sam Darnold
K Sam Ficken
QB James Morgan
WR Vyncint Smith
DT Quinnen Williams
The biggest name on the Jets’ list of inactives is quarterback Sam Darnold, even though him missing the contest does not come as a surprise: he was among four players listed as doubtful heading into the contest — a group of players that also included starting defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and kicker Sam Ficken.