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Analysis: Patriots List Five Players As Questionable for Sunday's Game vs. Dolphins

Patriots OT Isaiah Wynn (back) and WR Ty Montgomery (knee) among five players questionable for Sunday's opener.

Patriots running back Ty Montgomery (14).
Patriots running back Ty Montgomery (14).

The Patriots are making their final preparations for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins and didn't rule any players out on the 53-man roster on Friday's final injury report.

New England officially listed five players as questionable: OT Isaiah Wynn (back), WR/RB Ty Montgomery (knee), WR Jakobi Meyers (knee), S Joshuah Bledsoe (groin), and CB Shaun Wade (ankle).

Although every player on the roster has a chance to play on Sunday, the two biggest questions for New England are the statuses of starting right tackle Isaiah Wynn and offensive weapon Ty Montgomery.

Wynn was a limited participant in practice for three consecutive days down at Palm Beach Atlantic University this week. However, the Pats right tackle told reporters before Friday's session that he expects to play in the season-opener on Sunday.

"I'm excited to get out there on Sunday," Wynn said. "I've been practicing all week. I'm here."

With Wynn hopefully a full go, the Patriots will have a healthy offensive line to protect quarterback Mac Jones. The expectation is the starting five offensive linemen will be as follows: LT Trent Brown, LG Cole Strange, C David Andrews, RG Mike Onwenu, and RT Isaiah Wynn.

"Going out there and playing physically. We have to establish that from the jump and play ahead as opposed to playing from behind," Wynn told reporters on Friday.

When healthy, the group has practiced in that alignment all summer. Although there have been some growing pains with new terminology in pass protection and a bigger emphasis on outside zone runs, the offensive line projects as an eventual strength for the team.

If an unexpected development leads to Wynn sitting out Sunday's game, it's between third-year backup Justin Herron and 2019 third-round pick Yodny Cajuste to replace Wynn in the starting lineup.

The two recent draft picks were competing throughout the summer for the top swing tackle role, and although Cajuste showed more promise this summer, a healthy Herron typically got the nod in practice when either Brown or Wynn wasn't on the field. New England could also kick guard Mike Onwenu out to right tackle, where he played significant snaps as a rookie, and call on veteran James Ferentz to play right guard.

As for Montgomery, it seemed unlikely that the veteran pass-catcher would suit up for Sunday's Week 1 matchup against the Dolphins a few weeks ago. Montgomery was carted to New England's locker room and slammed his helmet down in frustration with what appeared to be a severe injury suffered during the preseason finale against the Raiders.

But Montgomery wasn't placed on injured reserve after the Patriots trimmed their roster to 53 players last week, and head coach Bill Belichick had a positive tone when discussing his status.

During training camp and the preseason, Montgomery was a bright spot for the Pats offense running routes from various alignments but mainly out of the backfield in a James White-like role. His burst out of the backfield to beat defenders to the edge and Montgomery's versatility to line up at wide receiver gave New England formation flexibility with the veteran on the field.

If Montgomery's injury scare is behind him, it would be huge for the Patriots to have the veteran receiving back against the Dolphins. Still, the questionable designation for Montgomery means that the next running back up will need to be prepared to play that role on Sunday.

After receiving praise for his development in the passing game, the top candidate to remain on the field for passing downs is second-year running back Rhamondre Stevenson.

"Rhamondre has done a really good job improving his pass-game skills, starting with blitz pickup and pass protection, his route-running. He has good hands, and catching the ball has never been an issue," head coach Bill Belichick said earlier this week.

Lastly, the Patriots added cornerback Shaun Wade to the injury report as a limited participant in Friday's practice with an ankle injury. Wade participated fully in practice for the first two days of the week.

Things are trending in a positive direction for the Patriots to have a fully healthy roster heading into Sunday's regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

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