The most notable aspect of New England's Week 4 inactive list is one name who's not on it. Wide receiver Josh Gordon (hamstring) has been questionable the last two weeks, but will finally make his Patriots debut today against the Dolphins.
His presence on the field brings a deep-threat element to this Patriots offense that could help free up TE Rob Gronkowski from the continuous double-teams he's faced in the first three games this season.
Two other Patriots will be back in action after missing last week's game in Detroit due to concussions. The defense should be bolstered by the presence of defensive end Trey Flowers and safety Patrick Chung.
Apparently, the team is so confident in Flowers' ability to contribute that they deactivated a pair of otherwise available defensive ends for today's game. Keionta Davis and Derek Rivers are both healthy scratches today (not listed on the injury report), as are the remaining Patriots deactivations, offensive linemen Cole Croston and Ted Karras.
When the final Week 4 injury report was distributed on Friday, New England listed 11 players as questionable to play against Miami. Three of them were deemed unfit Sunday morning to suit up and take part: TE Jacob Hollister (chest), CB Eric Rowe (groin), and DE/special teamer Geneo Grissom (ankle).
Hollister will miss his second consecutive contest, and third out of four to start this season. Hollister's being held out due to a chest injury suffered in a practice prior to the Lions game in Week 3. NFL Network reported Sunday morning that the injury sent Hollister to the hospital for further observation. He was limited all this past week in practice, but won't play again today.
Throughout the summer, Hollister frequently appeared in two-tight-end sets with Rob Gronkowski, which were an intriguing development for this offense, especially in recent games where, as noted earlier, Gronk has been double-teamed often. The Patriots will now have to wait another week, at least, for Hollister to become part of the game plan.
Rowe, who has struggled with injuries throughout his career, will also miss his second straight game, which should mean more work for Jason McCourty and Jonathan Jones at that position.
Form the Dolphins sideline, we knew as of Friday that Miami would be without one of its important defensive linemen. DE Andre Branch was ruled out after not having practiced all week due to a knee problem. However, the Dolphins somewhat surprisingly also decided to deactivate starting safety Reshad Jones. Although Jones was listed as questionable with his shoulder injury, he participated fully in Miami's past two practices. That's one less playmaker that QB Tom Brady will have to account for today.
Offensively, the Dolphins took a hit as well with starting wide receiver DeVante Parker being sidelined due to a quadriceps injury sustained in Friday's practice. He, too, had been a questionable listing. His absence means Miami will likely have to lean more on former Patriots pass catcher Danny Amendola.