Analysis from Patriots' inactives

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A few quick-hit thoughts from the Patriots' inactive players:

Shawn Crable active, set to appear in first NFL game. The 2008 third-round draft choice, who has yet to appear in an NFL game, was activated off the practice squad Saturday is on the 45-man game-day roster.

Danny Woodhead debut. Signed to a one-year deal last Saturday, the former New York Jet is active and is expected to play today. While Woodhead could be a factor on third down, helping to replace Kevin Faulk, his primary contributions figure to first be on special teams.

Brandon Spikes to play with injured calf. The rookie inside linebacker tested his injured calf in the 10 a.m. hour in front of members of the Patriots' athletic training/medical staff, as he was a game-time decision. With Spikes active, rookie inside linebacker Dane Fletcher is inactive for the third straight week.

Lighter on the defensive line. The Patriots are lighter on the defensive line than they were the first two weeks, with just five linemen dressed. The Patriots are going with an extra outside linebacker instead (Crable).