The New England Patriots offense has had its fair share of issues so far this season, with the continuity up front one of the biggest. Due to a mix of injury and performance, the offensive line has struggled mightily.
The upcoming Week 7 game against the Buffalo Bills, however, will see the unit in its best shape since Week 3.
Despite being listed as questionable on the injury report heading into the weekend, left tackle Trent Brown (chest), left guard Cole Strange (knee), center David Andrews (ankle), and right guard Michael Onwenu (ankle) are all good to go. This will mark only the second time this season that all four of them are available.
Getting Strange and Onwenu back in particular should help the Patriots hold things down up front: with the two absent, the team had to rely on a mix of rookies Atonio Mafi, Sidy Sow and Riley Reiff to step up. Mafi in particular struggled, while Reiff is now on injured reserve due to a knee issue.
Obviously, though, right tackle remains a question mark. Vederian Lowe has had his issues since taking over the starting spot in Week 3, and the team’s best option might just be guard Michael Onwenu or the aforementioned Sidy Sow.
Having Brown, Strange, Andrews and Onwenu all available, however, gives the team some options at least.
With all that said, let’s take a look at New England’s 48-man roster for Week 7.
Patriots game day roster
Quarterback (2): Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe
Running back (3): Rhamondre Stevenson, Ezekiel Elliott, Ty Montgomery II
Wide receiver (6): DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, Tyquan Thornton, Demario Douglas, Jalen Reagor (PS), Matthew Slater
Tight end (3): Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki, Pharaoh Brown
Offensive tackle (3): Trent Brown, Vederian Lowe, Sidy Sow
Interior offensive line (5): Cole Strange, David Andrews, Michael Onwenu, Atonio Mafi, Jake Andrews
Interior defensive line (6): Davon Godchaux, Christian Barmore, Deatrich Wise Jr., Lawrence Guy Sr., Sam Roberts, Jeremiah Pharms Jr. (PS)
Defensive edge (1): Anfernee Jennings, Jahlani Tavai
Linebacker (5): Ja’Whaun Bentley, Marte Mapu, Mack Wilson Sr., Chris Board
Cornerback (5): Jonathan Jones, J.C. Jackson, Jack Jones, Myles Bryant, Shaun Wade
Safety (6): Kyle Dugger, Jabrill Peppers, Adrian Phillips, Jalen Mills, Brenden Schooler, Cody Davis
Specialists (3): K Chad Ryland, P/H Bryce Baringer, LS Joe Cardona
Besides the movement up front, the Patriots also made some other changes to their game day squad compared to Week 6 against Las Vegas. At wide receiver, Demario Douglas returns to the lineup after a concussion kept him out, while the backup quarterback spot went back to Bailey Zappe after it was held by Malik Cunningham last Sunday.
On defense, the team is down to only Anfernee Jennings as a traditional edge. The expectation is that off-the-ball linebacker Jahlani Tavai will again help out in that spot — something he already did after Josh Uche and Keion White were lost with injuries in Week 6.
In addition, cornerback, Jack Jones is back. The sophomore was activated off injured reserve on Saturday, and will factor into the mix. It would be a surprise if he returned to a 100 percent playing time share immediately, though.
The average age of the Patriots’ game day roster is 26.9 years.
Game day inactives (7): OT Calvin Anderson, WR Kayshon Boutte, QB/WR Malik Cunningham, QB Will Grier (emergency QB), WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, ED Josh Uche, ED Keion White
Practice squad (14): DB Joshuah Bledsoe, CB Breon Borders, DE William Bradley-King, OL James Ferentz, LB Joe Giles-Harris, RB Kevin Harris, CB Azizi Hearn, DE Trysten Hill, OT Conor McDermott, LB Calvin Munson, OL Kody Russey, TE Matt Sokol, OT Andrew Stueber, RB Patrick Taylor
Injured reserve return (6): DT Daniel Ekuale, CB Christian Gonzalez, CB Marcus Jones, ED Matthew Judon, OL Riley Reiff, OT Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
Reserve/PUP (1): ED Trey Flowers
The Patriots’ inactives list includes some big names: besides the aforementioned Malik Cunningham, Josh Uche and Keion White, the team will also be without wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster for a second straight week. Meanwhile, Will Grier will fill the third emergency quarterback spot.
As for the other lists, there were a few changes as well. The Patriots added Conor McDermott, William Bradley-King and Patrick Taylor to its practice squad, even though none of the three was elevated to the game day team.
Meanwhile, special teamer Cody Davis was activated off the physically unable to perform list. Edge Trey Flowers remains on PUP even though he is already practicing. The team has until Oct. 25 to activate him or else he will miss the remainder of the season.
The Patriots’ Week 7 game against the Bills will be kicked off at 1 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium.