Pats 53-man roster projection (v. 4.0)

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

Updated: August 24, 2012, 8:06 AM ET
By Mike Reiss, Mike Rodak and Field Yates |

Since last week's roster projection, there have been some changes for the New England Patriots, most notably the release of veteran defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene. He had been a lock on the previous three projections.

In addition, rookie cornerback Alfonzo Dennard returned to practice Wednesday, making injured reserve a less-likely possibility for him. Fullback Spencer Larsen was also back on the practice field, giving himself a chance to make one final push for a roster spot.

Another twist had veteran tight end Daniel Fells coming off the physically unable to perform list, making the possibility of going with two tight ends less likely.

Here are the latest projections from's Patriots reporters:

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.