Taylor McCloud — Pats Militia
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 1, 2017
First things first – we knew about three of these guys before today.
Danny Amendola has been out of commission for a couple weeks with an ankle injury and we knew he wouldn’t be out there today. There’s been some good news, he was walking around without a boot or a limp, which means his status for the divisional round looks good. By keeping him out today, he stays healthy and hopefully ready for the playoffs.
Malcolm Mitchell didn’t practice all week because of a knee injury, and we had a pretty good idea he wouldn’t play. Then, last night, the Patriots’ official Twitter account tweeted that he’d be out. Obviously, this is concerning. Mitchell’s been turning it on lately, but, he’s a rookie — any reps he can get are good reps. However, I don’t really hate deactivating him. Mitchell’s proven to be the real deal, and an integral part of what this team wants to do on offense. Like Amendola, it’s important to get him ready for the playoffs.
Cyrus Jones was declared out a couple of days ago, but I have no real analysis of that. Jones is in the most peculiar, perplexing situation of any Patriots’ player. He had a rough patch, played a little bit last week, and is now out with a knee injury. I don’t know what that means for Jones and I doubt we’ll ever find out.
Also, I lied when I said we knew about three of these guys, D.J. Foster and LaAdrian Waddle are not playing, but that’s nothing new.
Rounding out the inactive list are Jordan Richards and Jacoby Brissett. Richards has been dealing with a nagging leg injury, but I’m thinking he’s more of a healthy scratch. Similarly, Brissett has been cleared to play and is healthy, but he’s not going to suit up. Although that seems unimportant, it says a lot about the Patriots gameplan today.
I said in my earlier blog that I thought the Pats would really go for it today, and Brissett landing on the inactive list speaks to that. If they were going to rest Brady for any amount of time, and put Garoppolo in there, they’d have Brissett active in case of emergency. That’s not the case.
And the fact that Dont’a Hightower and Matthew Slater are active says a lot, too. Both guys rested last week, and could have this week, but they’re not. All the normal guys are active, and so are these two. This is being treated like a normal game by everyone from Belichick down. Sure, getting out of Miami healthy is high on the priority list, but it’s not number one — winning is.