FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – This past week, 21 Patriots were listed in one form or another on the team's injury report. Even if you count this year's beefed-up practice squad, that's an inordinate amount of players, and several of them are regular starters.
So, with this being the final game of New England's 2020 season, it wasn't all that surprising to learn that three of them were declared Out for this meeting with the Jets at the end of the practice week.
Changes are coming this afternoon to the Patriots' starting offensive line, where center David Andrews and right guard Shaq Mason were ruled out for this game on Friday. Both men are dealing with calf injuries that kept them out of practice all last week. New England has a number of options to replace them, with veteran James Ferentz likely to start in place of Andrews.
Defensively, some good news as co-captains Lawrence Guy and Ja'Whaun Bentley are back in the lineup after missing last week's game with shoulder problems.
However, a pair of linebackers will sit this one out after not practicing all week. Terez Hall suffered an ankle injury a week ago versus Buffalo, while rookie LB Anfernee Jennings incurred a shoulder injury in that game.
Of the five practice squad players promoted on Saturday to the active roster, only CB D'Angelo Ross will be inactive for today's game as a healthy scratch. That means DE/TE Rashod Berry, LB Cassh Maluia, DB Michael Jackson, and OL Ross Reynolds could see action in this final game of the 2020 regular season.
Meanwhile, running back Damien Harris' lingering ankle issue appeared to worsen as his limited week of practice went on, to the point that he didn't take part at all on New Year's Day. He was ruled out for this game that day as well before being placed on Injured Reserve. He'll finish the 2020 regular season the way he started it – by sitting out three straight games.
From the Jets' sideline, the most notable absence will be RB Frank Gore, who was ruled out as far back as last Monday. One of the game's all-time leading rushers, Gore was placed on IR just before the New Year.