September, 20, 2014

Before the New England Patriots play a game, we’ll attempt to predict the team’s inactive players.

Our best guess for Sunday’s game against the Raiders:

Michael Buchanan — Defensive end and core special teamer missed the season-opener with an ankle injury (sustained Aug. 28) and might not be ready to return.

Jamie Collins — Linebacker missed last weeks game with a thigh injury and perhaps the Patriots are thinking there is no need to rush him back.

Don Jones — Special teams ace showed up on the injury report this week (hamstring), not practicing Wednesday.

Brandon LaFell — Last week, receiver Kenbrell Thompkins was the odd-man out in the receiving corps; maybe it’s LaFell this week.

Zach Moore — Rookie defensive end was inactive last week after playing two special teams snaps in the opener.

Ryan Wendell — Reserve center missed last week’s game with a knee injury and might not be ready to return.

James White — Rookie running back was inactive for the first two games and with so many receivers, tight ends and a fullback to account for on the 46-man game-day roster, going with just three running backs looks like the right fit.

ACCOUNTABILITY CHECK: With four correct inactives, it was a better showing than the 2-for-7 opening week. We missed on Chris Jones‘ return, didn’t expect Dennard to be inactive based on his absence from the injury report, and missed on Josh Kline being active as an eighth offensive lineman when the Patriots have usually entered a game with seven.

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