In less than 90 minutes, the New England Patriots will kick off the 16th game of their 2022 regular season. It is a big one: if they do not beat the Miami Dolphins, hey are officially eliminated from postseason contention.
Doing so will not be easy, though. A look at the Patriots’ inactives, after all, shows that the team will miss several core contributors yet again — especially at the cornerback position.
- RB Kevin Harris
- CB Marcus Jones
- CB Jalen Mills
- WR DeVante Parker
- DT Sam Roberts
- TE Jonnu Smith
- CB Shaun Wade
Three members of the Patriots’ inactives list were already known heading into the weekend: wide receiver DeVante Parker, tight end Jonnu Smith and cornerback Marcus Jones are all out because of concussions. Additionally, the team has also since placed another cornerback, Jack Jones (knee), on injured reserve.
New England’s issues at the position extend beyond those two, however. Jalen Mills has been ruled out another week because of his groin injury, with fellow CB Shaun Wade a surprise healthy scratch.
This leaves the Patriots severely understaffed at cornerback. While Jonathan Jones (chest) is able to go after being listed as questionable, he will be joined by a depleted group: Myles Bryant will assume a starting role, with recent practice squad promotion Tae Hayes and game-day elevation Quandre Mosely likely also seeing action. Hayes and Mosely only recently joined the team and have not played any snaps as Patriots.
Not all is bad news, though. As noted above, Jonathan Jones is ready despite his questionable tag. The same is true for tight end Hunter Henry (knee), running back Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle) and wide receiver Tyquan Thornton (knee).
- OT Terron Armstead
- LB Bradley Chubb
- WR Tanner Conner
- WR Erik Ezukanma
- OT Eric Fisher
- CB Xavien Howard
- QB Tua Tagovailoa
The Patriots are not the only team facing serious injury questions heading into Week 17. Miami will have to miss several starters on both sides of the ball: starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is out, as are left tackle Terron Armstead, linebacker Bradley Chubb and cornerback Xavien Howard.