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Sunday, January 20, 2013
Analysis from Patriots' inactives

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A few quick-hit thoughts from the Patriots' inactive players:

Chandler Jones active; how much does he play? Starting right defensive end Chandler Jones (ankle) is dressed for the game -- he missed the second half on last Sunday's win over the Texans -- but the question of how effective he will be remains. Jones is a three-down player for the Patriots, seldom coming off the field. We'll watch closely to see if they manage his snaps. His matchup against left tackle Bryant McKinnie is a good one, but if he isn't on the field, Rob Ninkovich usually flips to that side. Justin Francis was the top backup end last week.

Woodhead cleared for action. After injuring his thumb on the first play of last Sunday's win over the Texans and not playing the rest of the day, running back Danny Woodhead will dress tonight. Similar to Jones, the question remains how effective Woodhead might be. Woodhead was utilized as the lead back against the Ravens on Sept. 23, playing 51 of 82 snaps. The Patriots rushed for 77 yards on 34 carries that day (2.3 avg.), which was a big disappointment. The Patriots' running game turned its fortunes around the following week and was a catalyst for much of the rest of the regular season.

Same special teams personnel. The Patriots didn't make any changes on their inactives from last week, so unless there is a shift within the 46-man game-day roster, it will be the same special teams units we saw last week. The Patriots struggled on kickoff coverage against the Texans.

Promoting Forston, then making him inactive. After promoting rookie defensive lineman Marcus Forston to the active roster from the practice squad on Saturday, filling the open spot created when Rob Gronkowski was placed on injured reserve, the Patriots made him inactive. This adds more context to Forston's promotion -- it wasn't made with this specific game plan in mind, but more for 2013. By signing Forston, it adds him to the mix in 2013.