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Saturday, December 14, 2013
Projecting the Patriots' inactives

By Mike Reiss

Before the New England Patriots play a game, we'll attempt to predict the team's inactive players.

Our best guess on the list for Sunday's game against the Dolphins:

Marcus Cannon: Right tackle, who elevated to the starting lineup after Sebastian Vollmer sustained a season-ending leg injury Oct. 27, has missed the last two games with an ankle injury. We'll play a hunch that he might need one more week to get back to being game-ready. If he is ready, either rookie Chris Barker or veteran Will Svitek (ankle) would be the top candidates to be inactive.

Dobson
Aaron Dobson: Rookie receiver has missed the last two games with a foot injury and only returned to practice Friday. He is officially questionable, but a return Dec. 22 against the Ravens now seems more likely.

Isaac Sopoaga: Veteran defensive tackle played just two snaps last week, with second-year player Sealver Siliga getting extended work in his place.

Kenbrell Thompkins: Rookie receiver has been limited with a hip injury this week after also missing last Sunday's win over the Browns. Just a hunch that he might need another week.

D.J. Williams: If Michael Hoomanawanui is ready to return from a knee injury, the Patriots might be comfortable going with just two tight ends (Hoomanawanui/Matthew Mulligan) and a fullback (James Develin) to keep other areas well stocked.

Steve Beauharnais: Linebacker, a seventh-round pick out of Rutgers, is on the developmental track as he's been inactive for 10 games this season.

Jake Bequette: Defensive end is fifth on the depth chart and with No. 4 option Michael Buchanan hardly playing on defense, he is the odd man out, in part because of limited special teams contributions. He has been inactive the past six games.

(Last week: 6 of 7 projections correct.)