Before their Sunday Night Football matchup with the Dolphins later tonight, the Patriots received some good news when Miami announced some key inactive players for the game.
The announcement included linebacker Jaelan Phillips, who appears to potentially be a healthy scratch, and tackle Terron Armstead, who was their starting left tackle last week. The absence of Phillips helps the Patriots, as they will be down Trent Brown on the left side. And Armstead being out makes an interesting case for former Patriot Isaiah Wynn to take his place.
Although the list didn't contain game-changing players in the game, those that will be out certainly give the Patriots a bit of an upper hand. But some of that came to a crashing halt when their inactive list was released.
Most of those listed are not surprising since they appeared on the injury report throughout the week or are likely healthy scratches. The good news was that key offensive linemen Mike Onwenu and Cole Strange were returning to the lineup, which is significant news regarding the quarterback protection and run game.
However, seeing Jonathan Jones on the list hurts the Patriots a lot.
The cornerback has been their best player in slowing down Tyreek Hill, which is not easy for most defensive players in the league. Jones has been the go-to guy to cover the speediest receivers in the league and has gained recognition for his nearly impeccable coverage of Hill in particular.
This puts a lot of pressure on the rest of the secondary to hopefully fill in for the veteran, leaving Christian Gonzalez and Marcus Jones as the most likely candidates to try and do so.
The other good news will be the return of DeVante Parker, adding more depth to the receiving corps with rookie Kayshon Boutte being sidelined tonight.