KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Every Patriot who would be deactivated today would be a healthy scratch, as New England listed no one on the final injury report this past week.
So, it’s of little surprise that the team’s seven-man inactive list is nearly identical to last week’s Divisional Playoff.
The one notable exception is Danny Shelton. The veteran defensive lineman took part against the Chargers a week ago, but will not be in the lineup tonight in Kansas City. Perhaps the coaching staff felt his skills were not a good matchup for the Chiefs’ speed on offense.
Shelton replaces defensive back Obi Melifonwu, who will be active for just the fourth time since joining the Patriots in November. It will be interesting to see if the tall, speedy athlete will have a role in the game plan tonight against the many talented players on the Chiefs’ offense.
Meanwhile, defensive end Deatrich Wise (ankle), who was removed from the injury report this past Thursday, is technically healthy, but apparently not quite ready to participate in a game.
The remaining five inactive Patriots haven’t been on the 46-man game day roster for most of this season, particularly in recent games: defensive ends Keionta Davis and Ufomba Kamalu, tight end Stephen Anderson, offensive lineman James Ferentz, and rookie cornerback Duke Dawson.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, also have a relatively healthy squad.
They removed nine of their ten players on Friday, while ruling out the final player, rookie linebacker Dorian O’Daniel (ankle). Suffice to say, both teams in the consequential matchup are as fit as can be expected this time of year.