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Sunday, November 22, 2009
Inactive analysis

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. –- Analysis from the New England Patriots' inactive players vs. the New York Jets:

1. Starting right guard Stephen Neal (head) is out, with four-year veteran Dan Connolly the projected fill-in. Rookie Rich Ohrnberger is active for the first time and he is the top backup at center/guard.

2. Left tackle Matt Light (knee) is inactive, meaning that rookie Sebastian Vollmer is slated to start for the fifth straight game. Mark LeVoir is once again the swing tackle.

3. While defensive end Jarvis Green (knee) is out, fellow defensive end Ty Warren (ankle) will play after missing last Sunday’s game. Mike Wright projects to start in Green’s place, with rookies Myron Pryor and Ron Brace the next linemen on the depth chart. Strong line play figures to be crucial against the physical Jets and their No. 1-rated rushing attack.

4. Running back Sammy Morris (knee) is out, so that leaves just three rushers -– Laurence Maroney, Kevin Faulk and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Maroney projects to be the lead back.

5. With receiver and special teams captain Sam Aiken (hip) inactive, the Patriots figure to lean more on Isaiah Stanback and Julian Edelman as a No. 3 receiver, while rookie Pat Chung projects to take over some of Aiken’s special teams duties.

6. Linebacker Rob Ninkovich (knee) is out, so the Patriots lose a backup sub rusher and special teams player. Eric Alexander (groin) is back in the lineup to help fill that void.

7. Cornerback Shawn Springs is out for the second straight week. This seems tied in part to the team calling on Kyle Arrington (four special teams tackles the last two games) and Terrence Wheatley (kickoff returns) on special teams.

8. Outside linebacker Tully Banta-Cain (rib, groin) is active for the game. He is the Patriots' best pass rusher.