EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – In order to get down to the NFL-mandated 46-man game day roster limit, New England only had three players to deactivate Monday night. That’s because prior to arriving in the New York metropolitan area, the Patriots had already ruled out four: WR Josh Gordon (knee/ankle), TEs Ryan Izzo (concussion) and Matt LaCosse (knee), and RB Rex Burkhead (foot), who was downgraded on Sunday afternoon while the team was still in Foxborough.
The biggest news Monday is that the Patriots will shelve safety Patrick Chung (heel/chest), who couldn’t finish the previous game against the Giants. His absence tonight means we could see more of Terrence Brooks on defense. Brooks figured into the personnel groupings last game after Chung exited early.
On a positive note, WR Phillip Dorsett (hamstring) will be back in action, his first game time since being injured against Washington two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, OL Korey Cunningham is a healthy scratch tonight (not listed on the injury report), while DL Michael Bennett is serving a team-imposed suspension. Bennett’s playing time has dwindled in recent weeks, so, the Patriots should be able to withstand his absence tonight, particularly in light of New York’s inactive list.
From the Jets’ perspective, QB Sam Darnold’s blind side could be vulnerable in this game, as both starting left tackle Kelvin Beachum (ankle) and left guard Kelechi Osemele (shoulder) are out of commission. New England’s sack-happy D could target this area in an effort to pressure Darnold.
Meanwhile, LB Neville Hewitt (neck/knee) and DE Henry Anderson (shoulder) are two front-seven defensive starters who’ll be missed tonight. But the Jets hope to be buoyed defensively by the return of LB C.J. Mosley, who’s been out since the season opener with a groin problem.