With JuJu Smith-Schuster and Demario Douglas both suffering concussions in the team’s Week 5 loss to the New Orleans Saints last Sunday, the team is turning to some new faces. Sophomore Tyquan Thornton joined the 53-man roster from injured reserve, while Jalen Reagor was elevated from the practice squad.
In addition, the team also has receiver/quarterback-hybrid Malik Cunningham available as a wildcard option. Officially listed as Mac Jones’ backup, he could see action in a variety of ways.
Regardless of what will happen with him, the Patriots’ receiver group as a whole has undergone some turnover. Whether that also means a change in results remains to be seen.
With all that said, let’s take a look at New England’s 48-man roster for Week 6.
Patriots game day roster
Quarterback (2): Mac Jones, Malik Cunningham
Running back (3): Rhamondre Stevenson, Ezekiel Elliott, Ty Montgomery II
Wide receiver (5): DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, Tyquan Thornton, Jalen Reagor (PS), Matthew Slater
Tight end (3): Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki, Pharaoh Brown
Offensive tackle (3): Trent Brown, Vederian Lowe, Calvin Anderson
Interior offensive line (5): Atonio Mafi, David Andrews, Michael Onwenu, Sidy Sow, Jake Andrews
Interior defensive line (6): Davon Godchaux, Christian Barmore, Deatrich Wise Jr., Lawrence Guy Sr., Sam Roberts, Jeremiah Pharms Jr. (PS)
Defensive edge (3): Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, Keion White
Linebacker (5): Ja’Whaun Bentley, Jahlani Tavai, Marte Mapu, Mack Wilson Sr., Chris Board
Cornerback (5): Jonathan Jones, J.C. Jackson, Myles Bryant, Shaun Wade, Ameer Speed
Safety (5): Kyle Dugger, Jabrill Peppers, Adrian Phillips, Jalen Mills, Brenden Schooler
Specialists (3): K Chad Ryland, P/H Bryce Baringer, LS Joe Cardona
Besides the changes at wide receiver, the Patriots also will again be without some talent up front. Starting left guard Cole Strange will miss a third straight game because of a knee injury, while Riley Reiff — himself an option to start either in place of Strange or at right tackle — also did not make the trip due to a knee issue of his own. As a consequence, Atonio Mafi and Vederian Lowe will again start at left guard and right tackle, respectively.
With Demario Douglas out, the Patriots also will need to shake up their punt return group. The belief is that Jabrill Peppers and Myles Bryant will be the next men up, with Malik Cunningham possibly also factoring into the equation.
The average age of the Patriots’ game day roster is 26.9 years.
Game day inactives (7): WR Kayshon Boutte, WR Demario Douglas, QB Will Grier, OT Riley Reiff, G Cole Strange, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, QB Bailey Zappe
Practice squad (13): DB Joshuah Bledsoe, CB Breon Borders, OL James Ferentz, LB Joe Giles-Harris, RB Kevin Harris, CB Azizi Hearn, DE Trysten Hill, DT Manny Jones, WR T.J. Luther, LB Calvin Munson, OL Kody Russey, TE Matt Sokol, OT Andrew Stueber
Injured reserve return (6): DT Daniel Ekuale, CB Christian Gonzalez, CB Jack Jones, CB Marcus Jones, ED Matthew Judon, OT Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
Reserve/PUP (2): S Cody Davis, ED Trey Flowers
Arguably the most surprising name on the Patriots’ reserve lists is Bailey Zappe. After serving as Mac Jones’ primary backup the first five games of the season, he has now been relegated to the emergency role behind Jones and Malik Cunningham. As such, he will not be allowed to enter the game unless both of the QBs ahead of him on the depth chart become unavailable.
As for the other lists, there were a few changes. Matthew Judon and Tyrone Wheatley Jr. were added to injured reserve due to elbow and knee injuries, respectively, while the aforementioned Tyquan Thornton was activated from IR to the 53-man team.
Special teamer Cody Davis and egde Trey Flowers remain on PUP despite recently returning to practice.
The Patriots’ Week 6 game against the Raiders will be kicked off at 4:05 p.m. ET at Allegiant Stadium.