By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
This week’s Patriots inactives are a mixed bag, with key offensive players returning but star defensive players still missing.
First, the good news. N’Keal Harry will return for New England after missing the last two games with a concussion. The 2019 first-round pick had 19 catches for 172 yards and a touchdown in six contests this year before getting hurt.
Running back Damien Harris will also be good to go after a chest injury knocked him out of last week’s game against the Jets. The Alabama product is also dealing with an ankle injury. Harris has been the Patriots leading rusher in each of the last three games.
On the defensive side of the ball, things aren’t as promising. Top cornerback Stephon Gilmore is inactive for the third-straight week as he continues to battle a knee injury. Gilmore practiced most of this week.
Middle linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley will miss his second-straight game. Bentley injured his groin late in the loss to Buffalo. Second-year UDFA Terez Hall, who played well in his NFL debut last week, is active and should see a substantial role yet again.
In good news for the defense, lineman Lawrence Guy will return after missing last week’s game. Guy is fighting through shoulder, elbow, and knee injuries. Against a run-heavy team like Baltimore, Guy’s presence in the middle of the defense is valuable.
Meanwhile, one of the Patriots three acquisitions from the last week will make his debut with the team Sunday night. Wide receiver Isaiah Ford – acquired from Miami at the trade deadline – will be in uniform. With just one week of practice in Foxborough under his belt, his role could be limited.
Tight end Jordan Thomas and defensive tackle Isaiah Mack are both inactive. Thomas has yet to practice with the team after spending the week in COVID protocol. Mack’s absence is likely due to Guy being availabile.
If you’re looking to kill time before kickoff, check out the Patriots Preview Podcast below:
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.