By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
With the new roster rules in place for COVID, the Patriots only had to list five inactive players Sunday instead of the usual seven. Still, they managed to cram in some surprises.
Quarterback Jarrett Stidham obviously stands out. The expected starter and heir apparent to Tom Brady just a few months ago, the second-year signal caller is now a healthy scratch for Week 1.
Three rookies are included on the list – linebackers Josh Uche and Cassh Maluia, and tight end Dalton Keene. Maluia (knee) and Keene (neck) were both listed on the injury report during the week. Uche comes as a bit of a surprise though. The Michigan product had a strong camp and regularly worked with the first team defense.
Tackle Korey Cunningham is the final name on the list. The Patriots acquired him from the Arizona Cardinals for a sixth-round pick last year during roster cuts, but he was active for just one game in 2019.
In total, 11 new Patriots will take the field today. Cam Newton, Damiere Byrd, Brandon Copeland, Adrian Phillips, and Cody Davis will be making their team debuts, while J.J. Taylor, Devin Asiasi, Hjalte Froholdt, Mike Onwenu, Anfernee Jennings, and Kyle Dugger will be playing in their first NFL game.
The game kicks off at 1:00 p.m., you can catch Bob Socci and Scott Zolak on the call on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Alex Barth is a writer and 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. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com.