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Patriots not expected to play

8/21/2013

Tonight marks the third preseason game for the Patriots, which almost always represents the closest thing to regular-season action, as teams typically play their starters for substantially longer than other preseason games.

It would come as no surprise to see Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork on the field into the third quarter, while there are other players whom we aren't expecting to see at all, highlighted below.

Non-football Injury List/Physical Unable to Perform Players

TE Rob Gronkowski (PUP)

WR Mark Harrison (NFI)

DT Armond Armstead (NFI)

Players who were absent from practice this week

WR Danny Amendola

DE Jermaine Cunningham

CB Brandon Jones

Players who were limited during Tuesday's practice

DE Justin Francis

OT/G Marcus Cannon

TE Daniel Fells

CB Ras-I Dowling

WR Kamar Aiken

A trio of others to keep an eye on includes defensive backs Devin McCourty and Alfonzo Dennard, as well as offensive lineman Dan Connolly. McCourty and Connolly have yet to play in a preseason game (both are recovering from offseason shoulder surgery), but they were on the field for practice this week.

Additionally, McCourty shed the red non-contact jersey he had worn throughout much of camp. Dennard, meanwhile, has been limited of late, but could return to action after missing the team's second preseason game.

If the 11 players who we expect not to play in the game do in fact sit out, the Patriots will have 73 players in uniform for the contest. That total could shrink if McCourty, Dennard or Connolly is once again unable to suit up.