Oct 13, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins (85) is tackled by New Orleans Saints cornerback Jabari Greer (33) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Thompkins, Talib Inactive

Sep 12, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib (31) celebrates with strong safety Steve Gregory (28) after an interception during the fourth quarter against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

As we creep ever so slowly towards kickoff, the New England Patriots (finally) released their inactive lists for today’s game. The usual suspects are all there, however there was one big surprise that will certainly provoke some questions from Pats fans everywhere.

Kenbrell Thompkins, the rookie receiver has been declared inactive for this game, and unless he was dealing with some unknown injury, he was a healthy scratch. My feeling on this is, the progress of fellow rookie wideout Aaron Dobson has led Bill Belichick to trust Dobson with Thompkins’ snaps, thus, Thompkins’ presence wasn’t needed on the field. Obviously, I do not have any direct knowledge of this situation, but that is my best bet. Dobson’s rapport with Tom Brady has improved rapidly over the last few games, and his ability to make big plays may force Thompkins out of some snaps as we head towards the playoffs.

Aqib Talib is also inactive, although this was an expected move to many, because of the upcoming bye week for New England. Talib has been dealing with a hip injury for the last few weeks, and the Patriots are likely holding him out today to ensure that he is as healthy as possible for the home stretch.

New England Patriots Inactives:

Chris Barker

Steve Beauharnais

Leon Washington

Aqib Talib

Jake Bequette

Kenbrell Thompkins

Josh Boyce

Pittsburgh Steelers Inactives:

David DeCastro

Kion Wilson

Landry Jones

Markus Wheaton

Curtis Brown

Richard Gordon

Hebron Fangupo

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Tags: New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers

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