Patriots vs. Dolphins: Which Injury-List Players Will Be Inactive on Sunday?

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Patriots vs. Dolphins: Which Injury-List Players Will Be Inactive on Sunday?
(Photo by Ron Antonelli/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots have released their last injury report before their Week 8 home game against the Miami Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

By and large, this has been a good week for the health of Patriots players. Other than injured pride, and, in the case of Logan Ryan, an injured checkbook, there were no serious injuries suffered in the Patriots' overtime loss against the New York Jets.

The Patriots have only ruled out two players so far this week, so they will have to deactivate five more. 

Offense
Player Thursday Friday Designation
WR Danny Amendola (groin/concussion) Limited Limited Questionable
RB Brandon Bolden (knee) Limited Limited Questionable
QB Tom Brady (shoulder) Limited Full Probable
OL Marcus Cannon (shoulder) Limited Limited Questionable
WR Julian Edelman (thigh) Limited Limited Questionable
TE Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm) Limited Limited Probable
TE Michael Hoomanawanui (knee) Limited Limited Questionable
ST/WR Matthew Slater (wrist) Limited Limited Probable
RB Leon Washington (ankle) Did not practice Did not practice Out

Patriots.com

The most obvious change to the injury list is the triumphant return of Tom Brady's "probable with a shoulder injury" designation. (If you're a long-time Patriots fan, you may understand why I describe it so glibly. If you don't understand, you really should read this Jeff Howe article for the Boston Herald.) Backup quarterback Ryan Mallett shouldn't get his hopes up.

On the down side, running back Leon Washington still hasn't moved forward; he's been missing from practice for three weeks now and has once again been ruled out.

On the up side, Rob Gronkowski and Matthew Slater have both been upgraded from being questionable last week to probable this week. Even better, offensive lineman Dan Connolly, who appeared on the injury report last week with a concussion, is off the list altogether, as is Nate Solder (back injury last week).

Four other players are in a holding pattern: wide receiver Julian Edelman, tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, running back Brandon Bolden and offensive lineman Marcus Cannon. All of them have been both on the injury list and active for multiple weeks, so there is no reason to believe any of them will be inactive this week.

The big question is wide receiver Danny Amendola, who missed the Jets game after a helmet-to-helmet hit he suffered against the Saints. While he has been cleared for practice, Howe writes that he still needs to be cleared for games, so it's not yet a given he'll be active this weekend.

Defense
Player Thursday Friday Designation
CB Kyle Arrington (groin) Full Full Probable
DL Tommy Kelly (knee) Did not practice Did not practice Out
S Devin McCourty (shoulder) Full Full Probable
DE Rob Ninkovich (groin) Full Full Probable
CB Aqib Talib (hip) Limited Limited Questionable
S Tavon Wilson (hamstring) Limited Limited Questionable

Patriots.com

Defensive lineman Tommy Kelly still isn't practicing and has been ruled out yet again. NESN's Doug Kyed reports that Kelly was walking through the Patriots' locker room with a sleeve on his knee. On the other hand, Kyed also notes that the Patriots likely expect him to return at some point, simply because they have yet to put him on injured reserve. Once again, the Patriots will be relying on their young trio of defensive tackles, Joe Vellano, Chris Jones and Marcus Forston.

Cornerback Aqib Talib, who was doubtful last week, is listed as questionable this week, and he will likely be a game-time decision. Fellow cornerbacks Devin McCourty and Kyle Arrington are both listed as probable and should be active. Rob Ninkovich has been soldiering on through his injury and should also be active.

Finally, safety Tavon Wilson has missed the last three games and has zero tackles on the season. There is little reason to believe he'll be active.

 

Predictions 

Who could help the Patriots more at this point?

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As noted above, the Patriots have confirmed two players as out as of Friday's practice report:

  • DL Tommy Kelly
  • RB Leon Washington

Right now, I predict that the Patriots will definitely inactivate one injured list player:

  • S Tavon Wilson

Two more players will be game-time decisions:

  • WR Danny Amendola; if he plays, WR Josh Boyce will be inactive
  • CB Aqib Talib; if he plays, CB Marquice Cole will be inactive

I predict that the remaining two inactives will be healthy scratches:

  • OL Chris Barker
  • LB Steve Beauharnais
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