Two of New England's regular safeties will suit up for today's Jaguar game, despite seeing limited to no practice action on Friday. Kyle Dugger suffered a hamstring injury during Friday's practice, while recently-extended Adrian Phillips, who'd been dealing with a knee problem, came down with an illness that kept him out of the final session of the week. However, both players are available on the 48-man active roster for this game.
Two New England receivers aren't, however. With WR Nelson Agholor still nursing a concussion from the Colts game in Week15, it made sense that New England promoted practice squad pass catcher Kristian Wilkerson for the second consecutive week.
Wilkerson could see more action in this game than he did a week ago, as N'Keal Harry is among the seven Patriots deactivated for today's game. Harry has been limited in practices by a recent hip injury, but he was removed from the injury report on Friday, which makes it a coaching decision that he's not going to play today.
The remaining five inactive players are frequently on this list: third-string QB Jarrett Stidham, defensive back Joejuan Williams, tight end Devin Asiasi, rookie cornerback Shaun Wade, and running back J.J. Taylor.
It looked like there might be a chance for Stidham to make his 2021 game day roster debut, but backup QB Brian Hoyer just came off the COVID reserve list, so Stidham will sit this one out yet again. Taylor's inclusion on the inactive list is more noteworthy this week, too, because rookie rusher Rhamondre Stevenson came off the COVID list as well a few days ago, or else Taylor might've been asked to step in again as depth insurance, as he did a week ago versus Buffalo.
Meanwhile, for Jacksonville, a modicum of good news for them, as they were able to remove many of their two dozen or so players from the COVID reserve list on Friday and Saturday, including LBs Josh Allen and Myles Jack, as well as former Patriots D-lineman Malcom Brown.
Offensively, the Jags will have starting WR Laviska Shenault and starting tight end Chris Manhertz at their disposal for this game, but how much any of them will play a role, given the practice time they've missed, remains unclear at this point.