AFC East: Tony Carter
How it affects the roster: Last year's backups, Darius Butler and Tony Carter, are in jeopardy of losing their roster spots. Butler has been a disappointment. The Patriots had high hopes for the 2009 second-round pick, but he quickly lost his starting job to Kyle Arrington last year.
Scouts Inc. says: Can hold up in certain man-to-man matchups but would need deep-safety support versus NFL receivers with upper-echelon quickness. Has some tightness in hips, while top-end speed is very good lack of elite initial quickness can get him in trouble when he takes false steps in man coverage. However, shows an extra gear to recover when caught out of position. At his best in zone coverage, where he can keep receivers in front of him and read the quarterback's eyes.
Smith was the Jets' top kickoff returner, bringing back two for touchdowns in the regular season. He also is a potent weapon in the run game as an option quarterback in their Wildcat-style offense.
Newsworthy for the Patriots is that tight end Aaron Hernandez is active after missing the last two regular-season games with a hip injury.
Here are the rest of Sunday's scratches:
New York Jets
- Quarterback Kellen Clemens
- Fullback John Conner
- Tight end Matthew Mulligan
- Tight end Jeff Cumberland
- Defensive tackle Marcus Dixon
- Defensive tackle Jarron Gilbert
- Outside linebacker Vernon Gholston
New England Patriots