Analysis from Patriots inactives

November, 13, 2011
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Analysis from the Patriots' inactive players tonight:

1. Without Chung, safety spot depleted. Safety Patrick Chung tested his injured right foot before the game, but he didn't show explosion when planting and driving. So it's no surprise that Chung isn't playing. James Ihedigbo, Sergio Brown, Ross Ventrone and Sterling Moore, all of whom entered the NFL as rookie free agents, are next on the depth chart. Here is a blog entry breaking down the safety personnel, and here is a story analyzing how the situation has come to look like this.

2. Price remains stuck on sideline. About two weeks after offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien shared his hopes of getting second-year receiver Taylor Price on the field more, Price is again inactive after injuring his hamstring last week. Price had been questionable on the team's injury report. That means Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Chad Ochocinco, Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater are the top options.

3. All on board along the offensive line. Rookie offensive tackle Nate Solder, who was added to the injury report Saturday was a concussion, passed his pre-game test. Top center/guard backup Ryan Wendell, who missed practices Wednesday and Thursday with a concussion, also is ready to go. The Patriots have their top seven offensive linemen active.

4. Cunningham active. Second-year defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, who has been a healthy scratch the last two games, is dressed for action tonight. Cunningham has played sparingly on defense, with most of his time coming on the punt return unit. Cunningham has been bumped down the depth chart with veteran Andre Carter taking most of the reps on the right side.

5. Ellis to face his former team. After missing last Sunday's loss to the Giants with a rib injury, former New York Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis is active and returns to the Meadowlands to face his former team. Ellis and Brandon Deaderick figure to split snaps on the left side. Overall, the Patriots have a lot of defensive linemen active, which could be with stopping "ground and pound" in mind.

6. Faulk back in the fold. Rookie Shane Vereen is the odd man out at running back, with veteran Kevin Faulk back in action after missing last week. This gives the Patriots a top running back group of BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Faulk, Danny Woodhead and Stevan Ridley.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter



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