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Projecting Pats' inactives vs. Colts

11/17/2012

For the first time in several weeks, the Patriots have not officially ruled a player out prior to kickoff. That means seven inactive spots remain to be determined, and here's a projection of who might sit out when the Colts come to town for a showdown of 6-3 teams.

Guard Logan Mankins

Reason: Health

Quick-hit: Mankins is the only player listed as doubtful for the contest, and calf and ankle injuries seem likely to keep him out after he left last Sunday's game against Buffalo.

Tight end Aaron Hernandez

Reason: Health

Quick-hit: The rehab of Hernandez's right ankle continues, and though he once again practiced on a limited basis and is listed as questionable, the team may opt to buy him more rest prior to his return.

Guard Dan Connolly

Reason: Health

Quick-hit: Like Mankins, Connolly left the game in Week 10, with a back injury. He returned to the practice field on Friday, but is questionable to play. If he sits out, look for Donald Thomas to step into his spot at right guard.

Safety Patrick Chung

Reason: Health

Quick-hit: Chung has been absent for three games due to a shoulder injury, and if he sits out again, look for Devin McCourty to once again start at safety in his place.

Defensive end Trevor Scott

Reason: Health

Quick-hit: Scott returned to practice this week, but remained limited due to a hamstring injury. Rookie defensive end Justin Francis flashed solid rushing skills last week as the team's fourth end.

Cornerback Malcolm Williams

Reason: Health/depth

Quick-hit: Williams is among the 16 Patriots listed as questionable (he has a thigh injury), and was inactive a week ago as well. One factor to keep in mind: The team needs to clear a roster spot for Aqib Talib prior to Sunday, and because of his role and position, Williams seems like a candidate to be waived (he would also seem likely to be brought back to the practice squad thereafter).

Defensive end Jake Bequette

Reason: Depth

Quick-hit: Bequette's development continues, and he doesn't seem quite ready to break the lineup consistently. Should Scott play, that further decreases Bequette's chance of being active.