NEPD Staff Writer: Matthew Jones
New England carries five running backs into the regular season on this projection; Brandon Bolden appears to have performed well enough to warrant a space on the team. Jeremy Ebert, Jesse Holley, and Kerry Taylor had their moments this preseason but none of them is ready to contribute right now at wide receiver; a Gaffney re-signing is possible.
There has been nothing new regarding Brian Waters’ status for the 2012 season, so he has been left off of this 53-man roster projection.
In his place, Dan Koppen is back on the final 53 to provide depth on the interior offensive line; none of the players released did enough to secure spots this preseason.
Justin Francis was difficult to leave off of the final roster; he could potentially steal Trevor Scott’s spot following a strong performance against the Giants yesterday. Tracy White’s inability to get on the field may cost him as Niko Koutouvides, Mike Rivera, and Jeff Tarpinian all played well in the preseason finale; a youth movement from White to Tarpinian makes sense from that perspective.
New England traditionally carries ten defensive backs, and both Marquice Cole and Alfonzo Dennard deserve spots on the final roster; James Ihedigbo has been left off of the team for that reason, although he would likely remain on New England’s emergency list should one of the team’s safeties get hurt. Nate Ebner’s quick acclimation to the defensive side of the ball means he is almost certain to make the team.
Added RB Brandon Bolden, C Dan Koppen, and LB Niko Koutouvides to active roster.
Removed WR Jabar Gaffney, OG Brian Waters (reserve/left squad), and LB Tracy White from active roster.
Added FB Spencer Lrasen, CB Will Allen, CB Ross Ventrone, and S Josh Barrett to injured reserve.
Added LB Mike Rivera to practice squad (replaces RB Brandon Bolden.)
Quarterback (3): Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett
Running Back (5): Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead, Jeff Demps, Brandon Bolden
Wide Receiver (5): Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Julian Edelman, Deion Branch, Matthew Slater
Tight End (3): Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Daniel Fells
Offensive Tackle (3): Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon
Guard (4): Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Donald Thomas, Nick McDonald
Center (2): Ryan Wendell, Dan Koppen
Defensive Line (9): Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love, Ron Brace, Brandon Deaderick, Jake Bequette, Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jermaine Cunningham, Trevor Scott
Linebacker (6): Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Bobby Carpenter, Dont’a Hightower, Niko Koutouvides, Jeff Tarpinian
Cornerback (6): Devin McCourty, Ras-I Dowling, Kyle Arrington, Sterling Moore, Alfonzo Dennard, Marquice Cole
Safety (4): Pat Chung, Steve Gregory, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner
Specialist (3): Stephen Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko, Danny Aiken
Injured/PUP: FB Spencer Larsen (IR), TE Jake Ballard, TE Brad Herman (IR), OT Kyle Hix (IR), OT Markus Zusevics, C Jamey Richard (IR), DT Myron Pryor, LB Dane Fletcher (IR), CB Will Allen (IR), CB Ross Ventrone (IR), S Josh Barrett (IR)
Reserve: FB Tony Fiammetta, OG Brian Waters
List of cuts:
FB Eric Kettani, WR Jeremy Ebert, WR Jesse Holley, WR Kerry Taylor, TE Visanthe Shiancoe, TE Alex Silvestro, TE Tyler Urban, OL Derek Dennis, OL Kyle Hill, OL Matt Kopa, OL Dustin Waldron, OL Jeremiah Warren, OL Darrion Weems, DT Marcus Forston, DT Marcus Harrison, DE Justin Francis, LB Tracy White, LB Aaron Lavarias, LB Mike Rivera, CB Malcolm Williams, FS Sergio Brown, SS Derrick Martin, SS James Ihedigbo, K Chris Koepplin
WR Jeremy Ebert, TE Alex Silvestro, OT Matt Kopa, OG Jeremiah Warren, DT Marcus Forston, DE Justin Francis, LB Mike Rivera, CB Malcolm Williams