FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In putting together a 46-man game-day roster, the role of special teams often is an important consideration.
For the Patriots, it's one of the main reasons why a player like Niko Koutouvides, who was signed midway through the season, would be active for Saturday night's playoff game against the Broncos over four-year veteran Gary Guyton. Ditto for Dane Fletcher.
Both Koutouvides and Fletcher played on each of the "Big 4" units on special teams -- punt coverage, punt return, kickoff return and kickoff coverage. Both also played a bit on defense, Koutouvides as part of a sub package and Fletcher as a reserve behind Brandon Spikes.
Guyton has filled those roles on defense in the past, and played well, but he is not viewed as a primary contributor on special teams.
With this in mind, here is a look at those who played on multiple units in Saturday's win:
S Sergio Brown
LB Dane Fletcher
LB Niko Koutouvides
WR/S Matthew Slater
LB Tracy White
CB Malcolm Williams
S Patrick Chung
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis
S James Ihedigbo
CB Devin McCourty
CB Antwaun Molden
NOTES: The personnel on the punt return unit was charted on the team's first return, with Wes Welker back as the primary returner. The Patriots later brought Julian Edelman and Kevin Faulk on for a punt return. ... FB Lousaka Polite played on the wedge in the kickoff reutrn unit. ... In-game statisticians credited Sergio Brown, Kyle Arrington, Tracy White and Julian Edelman with special teams tackles.