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Saturday, January 18, 2014
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 AFC Championship Game against the Denver Broncos:

Chris Barker – Rookie guard is the team’s eighth offensive lineman and the team most often has seven active for games.

Steve Beauharnais – Rookie linebacker has already been ruled out with an illness. Wouldn’t be surprised if he is moved to injured reserve and the Patriots use the spot for another player (possibly a practice squad receiver).

Jake Bequette – Second-year defensive end has been inactive for 11 games this season.

Ja’Gared Davis – Rookie linebacker was promoted off the practice squad last week and played on special teams. With a need for more defensive backs, his role gets filled by others.

Isaac Sopoaga – Veteran defensive tackle has slid to fourth on the depth chart and in a game in which the Patriots figure to be in sub packages throughout, he gets bumped off the 46-man roster.

Kenbrell Thompkins – Receiver was limited in practices after sustaining a concussion last Saturday against the Colts. Both he and Aaron Dobson (foot) were listed as questionable on the final injury report and our hunch is that one of the two will be inactive, and we’ll play a hunch that it’s Thompkins.

D.J. Williams – Tight end could help as a pass-catcher, especially in the three-receiver package, but gets edged out in a numbers game.