By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots announced on Sunday that running back Rex Burkhead has been downgraded to "out" against the Jets on Monday Night Football. Burkhead has been dealing with a foot injury suffered in Week 4 at the Buffalo Bills and has not played since.
Here are the five known inactive Patriots for Monday night:
DL Michael Bennett (team suspension)
RB Rex Burkhead (foot)
WR Josh Gordon (knee/ankle)
TE Ryan Izzo (concussion)
TE Matt LaCosse (knee)
They'll have two other players to deactivate before the game at MetLife Stadium. Possibilities include rookie RB Damien Harris, rookie CB Joejuan Williams, OL Korey Cunningham, and DL Byron Cowart. It may make sense to activate Harris for what would be just his second career NFL game. The Patriots activated Harris against the Jets in Week 3, when James White did not play as he attended the birth of his son.
However, Burkhead has not played in the past two games and Harris still did not make the active roster. The Pats instead leaned more on Brandon Bolden to contribute more on offense. Bolden had 11 touches in Weeks 5-6 after just six touches in his first three games played.
Here's a complete list of the weapons available to Tom Brady in the game, assuming they're all active:
Wide Receiver: Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski
Running Back: James White, Sony Michel, Brandon Bolden, Damien Harris
Tight End: Ben Watson, Eric Tomlinson
At tight end, it's even more precarious. The Patriots just re-signed Watson and signed Tomlinson this week amid injuries elsewhere. Tomlinson is more of a blocker and possible replacement at fullback, while Watson has yet to play a game this season after being suspended the first four weeks then getting released.
As for the receivers, rookie Jakobi Meyers is the only one who did not appear on the injury report this week. Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett are expected to play, but have been dealing with chest and hamstring injuries, respectively. Gunner Olszewski became a late addition to the injury report on Saturday with a hamstring injury of his own.
Burkhead's status doesn't necessarily change the Pats offense from the previous two weeks. But it's just another blow to an offense that's dealt with injury and depth concerns almost throughout the 2019 season.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].