Neal, Brace, Wheatley fill out inactives

December, 6, 2009
12/06/09
11:57
AM ET
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Starting right guard Stephen Neal, reserve defensive lineman Ron Brace and reserve cornerback Terrence Wheatley are the remaining three players inactive for the Patriots today.

Neal, who was questionable with an ankle injury, is likely to be replaced by four-year veteran Dan Connolly. Rookie Rich Ohrnberger becomes the top interior backup.

Without Brace, the Patriots have their top five linemen active: Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren, Jarvis Green, Mike Wright and Myron Pryor.

Wheatley's absence -- not because of injury -- thins the cornerback corps to Leigh Bodden, Jonathan Wilhite, Darius Butler and Kyle Arrington. This could lead the team to tap more into safety depth in sub packages with Pat Chung and James Sanders.

Julian Edelman, running back Fred Taylor, defensive back Shawn Springs, defensive back Bret Lockett and offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer were ruled out Saturday.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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