After sitting out the last three games because of a knee injury, New England's top cornerback, Stephon Gilmore, will be back in the lineup today in Houston. Gilmore's return comes not a moment too soon, as the Texans have a potent passing attack.
Defensively, the Patriots also get good news with the return of co-captain linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley, absent the past two weeks with a groin issue.
On the other side of the ball, however, running back Sony Michel, called up just yesterday from Injured Reserve, will not suit up just yet. He'll have to wait at least another week before he totes the ball again for the Patriots. In the interim, Damien Harris, Rex Burkhead, and James White will be the trio of backs, as they've been in recent weeks.
Veteran Brian Hoyer is the third-string QB and will be inactive, as has been the case of late, along with WR Isaiah Ford, who didn't play at all in his Patriots debut last week, and rookie DB Myles Bryant, who likely sits out to make room for Gilmore. On Saturday, the club ruled out DL Adam Butler (shoulder) and rookie RB J.J. Taylor (a healthy scratch).
Houston, meanwhile, has been dealing with a flu outbreak among its roster and coaching staff this past week. It seems to have come at the cost of starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who won't play today. The left side of the Texans' offensive line could be vulnerable to New England's pass rush, not just because of Tunsil, but also guard Senio Kelemete, who is Out due to a concussion that limited him in practices all week.
Wide receiver Kenny Stills, originally listed as Questionable with a back problem, is going to play today, which is good news for the Texans' offense.