For the second straight game, the most noteworthy aspect of New England's Week 5 inactive list might be who's not on it.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who suffered a right ankle injury against Miami just four days ago, will suit up tonight against Indianapolis. So will wide receiver Julian Edelman in his first game back from an NFL suspension.
Gronkowski has also been dealing with a left ankle issue of late, so, it remains to be seen how effective he might be on the field tonight against the Colts. Tight end Jacob Hollister (chest) is back on the 46-man game day roster after missing three of the team's first four games, including the two most recent ones. That could be beneficial to the offense if Gronkowski is less than full-strength.
The 32-year-old Edelman, meantime, might have to double as New England's punt return specialist tonight as well, as Cyrus Jones has been deactivated as a healthy scratch (not listed on the injury report).
Defensively, the Patriots will again be without cornerback Eric Rowe (groin), who sat out the Dolphins game last week as well. Jason McCourty likely will start in his place, as he did in Weeks 3 and 4.
Four of the five other Patriots who won't dress tonight are also healthy scratches: offensive linemen Cole Croston and Ted Karras, and defensive ends Keionta Davis and Derek Rivers. Geneo Grissom has been dealing with an ankle injury.
It's curious that New England will sit three defensive ends, but that will give newcomer John Simon more special teams opportunities and potentially a chance at the edge rusher rotation, where he delivered a sack four days ago in the late stages against Miami.
From the Indy bench, there was no mystery at all as to which Colts would be inactive, because on Wednesday, seven players – several of them significant – were declared out for this game. Most notably, the Colts will be without two Pro Bowl-caliber players: wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, who's dealing with chest and hamstring injuries, and tight end Jack Doyle. This will severely limit QB Andrew Luck's choices when throwing the football tonight.
Meantime, Luck will also be without his regular right tackle. Denzelle Good has been excused for this game because of a death in his family. Colts starting running back Marlon Mack is also out with a hamstring, so, Luck will be handing off mostly to a couple of rookie backs.
On defense, Colts starting corner Kenny Moore won't play due to a concussion.