The Patriots announced the following seven inactive players ahead of Sunday's season-opener against the Miami Dolphins.
New England's seven inactives for today's game are LB Anfernee Jennings, DL Sam Roberts, OL Chasen Hines, QB Bailey Zappe, RB Pierre Strong, CB Shaun Wade (ankle), and S Joshuah Bledsoe (groin). The final two players listed with injury designations were questionable heading into Sunday's game, so their inactive status is not a major surprise.
Montgomery, who was carted to the locker room after sustaining an injury in the preseason finale vs. the Raiders, projects as New England's top receiving back and it is surprising to see him dressing for Week 1. When Montgomery left the game in Las Vegas, it looked like he suffered a serious injury. But that's not the case, which is a huge boost to the Pats offense as Montgomery's burst into his routes and versatility stood out all summer long.
Along the offensive line, starting right tackle Isaiah Wynn is officially active and will play against the Dolphins, as expected. Wynn was questionable for today's game due to a back injury but told reporters he would play in the season-opener on Friday.
The Patriots starting offensive line projects as follows: LT Trent Brown, LG Cole Strange, C David Andrews, RG Mike Onwenu, and RT Isaiah Wynn. With rookie guard Chasen Hines inactive, the top backup on the interior is veteran James Ferentz, while Justin Herron and Yodny Cajuste provide depth at offensive tackle for the Pats.
Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (questionable, knee) is also active for Sunday's game after being limited throughout the week at practice.
Among the healthy inactives, third-year linebacker Anfernee Jennings is the biggest surprise. Jennings was emerging in training camp as a potential role player in his third season. The 2020 third-round pick was rotating in the starting defense in an edge-setting role and received praise from the coaching staff for his breakout camp, but it wasn't enough to earn a spot on the game-day roster.
The Patriots will be thin with only three true outside linebackers available against the Dolphins in Pro Bowler Matthew Judon, pass-rusher Josh Uche, and undrafted rookie DaMarcus Mitchell with Jennings as the odd man out this week.
Although Uche projects as a potential impact pass-rusher, going light numbers-wise at outside linebacker could signal that the Patriots plan to use more even fronts (4-3) against the outside zone-heavy Dolphins on Sunday. Instead of two stand-up edge rushers, a four-down even front base defense would only call for one player in that role, likely Judon.
New England will only dress two quarterbacks, with rookie Bailey Zappe sitting out Sunday's game. Veteran Brian Hoyer will back up starting quarterback Mac Jones and likely serve as a top aid to Jones on the sideline.
The Patriots will kick off the 2022 season against the Miami Dolphins at 1 pm ET at Hard Rock Stadium.