CINCINNATI – WR Julian Edelman will continue his streak of playing injured, which he's done throughout most of this season.
However, Edelman went through and more-elaborate-than-usual pregame warmup, perhaps in an effort to determine his fitness for play today. The veteran pass catcher only practiced twice this past week, sitting out the first day as he deals with shoulder and knee problems, the latter having popped up following the Chiefs game a week ago.
Edelman's value to this offense is unquestionably high, so, his presence on the field, injured or not, is significant.
Center Ted Karras will also suit up today. He was held out of action last week against K.C. after he suffered a knee injury at Houston the prior week. James Ferentz filled in for Karras versus the Chiefs, but Karras likely will be back in his usual spot today.
Meanwhile, after missing the previous two games with a groin issue, CB Jason McCourty returned to game action last Sunday, but appeared in only a handful of plays. He continued to be limited in practices this past week, and today, he'll be a spectator once again when the Patriots face the Bengals here in Ohio.
New England will have to delve into its deep secondary to compensate for McCourty's absence, with J.C. Jackson and Jonathan Jones the likely candidates to see more action today.
Rookie DL Byron Cowart was ruled out Saturday before the club departed for Cincinnati. He returned to practice on a limited basis this past week, but isn't yet sufficiently recovered from the concussion he suffered a couple weeks back.
Elsewhere, the Patriots will deactivate the usual names who are otherwise healthy: QB Cody Kessler, O-linemen Jermaine Eluemunor and Korey Cunningham, TE Ryan Izzo, and rookie RB Damien Harris.
On the Cincy sideline, the Bengals' biggest absence today is WR A.J. Green. He was ruled out Friday thanks to an ankle injury that kept him from practicing at all. Cincinnati still has some weapons on offense, but Green is their most lethal.