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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Fri Jan 22 - 12:00 AM | Sun Jan 24 - 11:59 PM

Inactive Analysis: Michel returns, but who plays LT?

2020-InactivesAnalysis-pdc

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – With Isaiah Wynn having been placed on New England's Injured Reserve list Saturday evening, the big question today is, how will the Patriots' starting offensive line look against the Cardinals?

The Patriots have multiple options, including sliding left guard Joe Thuney over to Wynn's left tackle spot and replacing Thuney with veteran Jermaine Eluemenor or rookie Justin Herron, who was called up from IR on Saturday.

It's also conceivable that Rookie Mike Onwenu, who's been in charge of the right tackle spot since Eluemenor was injured last month, could potentially move over to left tackle, with Eluemenor reprising his erstwhile starting role at right tackle. Perhaps even another iteration of the O-line could manifest itself today, but these seem to be most likely variations.

Meanwhile, running back is also a talking point this Sunday, with the placement of Rex Burkhead on IR and the re-activation of Sony Michel. This marks Michel's first game action since September, and not a moment too soon after Burkhead went down with a knee injury in Houston last week. Michel will join Damien Harris and James White in the backfield, as rookie J.J. Taylor remains inactive. This week, a quadriceps muscle injury is keeping him out of commission. He practiced only on a limited basis Friday after being held out Thursday.

The Patriots will be a bit thin at defensive line today, with Byron Cowart (back) and Tashawn Bower (illness) unable to dress today. Hence, the call-up of Akeem Spence from the practice squad last night.

We're still waiting to see what, if anything, Isaiah Ford can bring to the receiving corps after arriving at the trade deadline earlier this month. Ford is inactive today and hasn't seen a game snap thus far as a Patriot. Practice squad veteran Donte Moncrief again gets the nod in favor of Ford.

Let's briefly discuss Arizona now, where the Cards are dealing with some issues on defense. Already without dangerous pass rusher Chandler Jones (IR), Arizona will be without starting defensive lineman Josh Mauro (hamstring), who didn't practice all week as a result of his injury. Starting safety Jalen Thompson (ankle) also didn't take any practice snaps this past week and won't be in the lineup for the Cards today.

There was some concern early in the week about QB Kyler Murray (throwing shoulder) and WR DeAndre Hopkins (illness), but both men returned to practice with full participation before the end of the week and thus should be ready to go today at Gillette.

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