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Inactive Analysis: J-Mac back in the lineup

A rapid-reaction examination of which Patriots will and won't suit up for Week 14 against the Kansas City Chiefs.


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England's seven-man inactive list for today's game against Kansas City was noteworthy for who wasn't on it. CB Jason McCourty will suit up today after missing the past two games with a groin injury. His return is particularly important today versus a high-octane Chiefs offense. The Patriots will need as many healthy defensive backs as they can get to help slow down K.C.'s many pass-catching weapons.

Meanwhile, after leaving the Texans game last weekend with a knee injury, center Ted Karras didn't practice this past week and was ruled out of this contest on Friday. His replacement in Houston, James Ferentz, likely gets the start today against the Chiefs.

On Friday, the Patriots also ruled out rookie DL Byron Cowart, who's been dealing with a head issue for more than a week. This is the second straight game he'll miss as a result, although he's generally listed as a healthy scratch on game days (not listed on the injury report), so, his absence should cause too much of a scramble on the d-line. 

The rest of New England's inactive players today are no surprise, as they often appear on this game-day list as healthy scratches, which they are today as well: third-string QB Cody Kessler, TE Ryan Izzo, o-lineman Korey Cunningham, rookie CB Joejuan Williams, and rookie RB Damien Harris.

From the Kansas City sideline, the major news revolves around the Chiefs' backfield, where two-thirds of its three-headed monster won't be available today. Earlier in the week, K.C. played Darrel Williams on IR with a hamstring problem, and on Friday, the Chiefs ruled out Damien Williams. He didn't practice all week as a result of a rib injury.

Defensively, starting Chiefs DE Frank Clark was trending downward after missing the final two practice sessions of the past week with a shoulder ailment. However, Clark didn't appear on the inactive list, so, it appears he'll give it a go today in Foxborough.

Depth in the K.C. secondary is also a Chief concern today, as a pair of defensive backfield backups – Morris Claiborne (shoulder) and Rashad Fenton (hamstring) – are being held out.

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