Projecting Pats' inactives vs. Colts

November, 17, 2012
11/17/12
11:00
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For the first time in several weeks, the Patriots have not officially ruled a player out prior to kickoff. That means seven inactive spots remain to be determined, and here's a projection of who might sit out when the Colts come to town for a showdown of 6-3 teams.

Guard Logan Mankins
Reason:
Health
Quick-hit: Mankins is the only player listed as doubtful for the contest, and calf and ankle injuries seem likely to keep him out after he left last Sunday's game against Buffalo.

Tight end Aaron Hernandez
Reason:
Health
Quick-hit: The rehab of Hernandez's right ankle continues, and though he once again practiced on a limited basis and is listed as questionable, the team may opt to buy him more rest prior to his return.

Guard Dan Connolly
Reason:
Health
Quick-hit: Like Mankins, Connolly left the game in Week 10, with a back injury. He returned to the practice field on Friday, but is questionable to play. If he sits out, look for Donald Thomas to step into his spot at right guard.

Safety Patrick Chung
Reason:
Health
Quick-hit: Chung has been absent for three games due to a shoulder injury, and if he sits out again, look for Devin McCourty to once again start at safety in his place.

Defensive end Trevor Scott
Reason:
Health
Quick-hit: Scott returned to practice this week, but remained limited due to a hamstring injury. Rookie defensive end Justin Francis flashed solid rushing skills last week as the team's fourth end.

Cornerback Malcolm Williams
Reason:
Health/depth
Quick-hit: Williams is among the 16 Patriots listed as questionable (he has a thigh injury), and was inactive a week ago as well. One factor to keep in mind: The team needs to clear a roster spot for Aqib Talib prior to Sunday, and because of his role and position, Williams seems like a candidate to be waived (he would also seem likely to be brought back to the practice squad thereafter).

Defensive end Jake Bequette
Reason:
Depth
Quick-hit: Bequette's development continues, and he doesn't seem quite ready to break the lineup consistently. Should Scott play, that further decreases Bequette's chance of being active.
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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