Commentary

Pats 53-man roster projection (v. 3.0)

A three-headed prognostication of how the team will look come season opener

Updated: August 17, 2012, 5:01 PM ET
By Mike Reiss, Mike Rodak and Field Yates | ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The season-ending knee injury sustained by New England Patriots linebacker Dane Fletcher in the preseason opener had the biggest impact on roster projection 3.0.

Jeff Tarpinian (second year) and Mike Rivera (first year) are linebackers who could find themselves in position to snare a roster spot with Fletcher down.

Elsewhere, questions along the offensive line remain some of the more pressing for the club. Veteran center Dan Koppen remains a challenging projection - does he make the squad? One interesting dynamic to Koppen's situation is that he visited the Titans in free agency this offseason, and should the Patriots let him go, the center-needy Titans could pick him up in time for the season-opener against New England.

Here are the updated projections of ESPNBoston.com's Patriots reporters, leading into Monday night's game against the Eagles:

Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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