— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 18, 2016
There they are, the Patriots’ inactives for today’s game against the Dolphins.
We already knew Eric Rowe would be out, and we found out this morning that Rob Gronkowski would be out.
Not expecting to see LB Dont'a Hightower or DT Anthony Johnson in today's game. Hightower was just spotted leaving stadium.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 18, 2016
Dont’a Hightower didn’t practice all week because of a knee injury. As a result, he will not be playing either. That, coupled with the absence of Anthony Johnson, could, and probably will mean far more snaps for Barkevious Mingo.
Two offensive linemen, Jonathan Cooper and LaAdrian Waddle will not play. Waddle was not listed on the injury report this week, so it’s safe to assume he’s a healthy scratch. Cooper, on the other hand, has been hurt since he got to New England. After trading someone like Chandler Jones for him, it’d be nice to see what he has to offer, but the guy just can’t get on the field.
The most surprising inactive of the day, though, is A.J. Derby. Like Waddle, Derby was not listed on the injury report all week, meaning this is a healthy scratch for the tight end. After playing minimally last week (20 snaps), I figured Derby would be able to log more playing time against Miami, especially factoring in the Gronkowski injury. I guess not. Derby is inactive. In his place, Clay Harbor will be making his Patriots’ debut.
One notable left off the inactive list is left tackle, Nate Solder. After tearing his bicep in Week 5 of 2015, Solder was placed on IR and has not played since. He missed last week’s contest in Arizona due to a hamstring injury. However, whatever ailed Solder last week has been resolved and the big man is active.