On the road against the Seattle Seahawks today, the New England Patriots have themselves a matchup much tougher than many figured this summer.
Seattle’s physical defense against New England’s versatile offense should be an interesting game to watch – follow along for updates throughout the day.
8:30am – The Patriots have ruled out receiver Julian Edelman, safety Steve Gregory, as well as linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Tracy White. The Patriots will release three more inactives by 2:30pm.
8:45am – Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is expected to make his return following an ankle injury suffered on September 16th against the Arizona Cardinals. In the past, the Patriots have integrated injured players back into the offense slowly – I expect to see Hernandez to see 25-30 snaps against the Seahawks.
8:50am – With both Dont’a Hightower and Tracy White both ruled out from today’s game, the Patriots are very thin at the strong side outside linebacker position. Rob Ninkovich might see some time there, although his recent improved play at defensive end will certainly make that a tough change.
8:55am – The Seahawks have ruled out guard John Moffitt and defensive tackle Jaye Howard. Defensive Tackle Clifton McDonald is also expected to miss the game.
9:00am – Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is listed as probable for the Seahawks. Even with a back injury, expect Lynch to bring his patented physical running style Sunday afternoon. Tackling will be at a premium for the Patriots, all defenders will need to fly to the ball and wrap up to avoid being covered in skittles.
11:30am – In other AFC East news, the Jets face the Colts at 1:00pm, while the Bills play the Cardinals at 4:05pm. The Dolphins have a tough test against the Rams at 1:00pm.
12:00pm – Weather in Seattle is supposed to be mild, with steady showers at gametime. The Patriots have often played well in rain and snow, where receivers have a small advantage over defensive backs.
2:30pm – Matt Tennant, Jake Bequette and Michael Hoomanawanui are the final three incatives for the Patriots. Justin Francis, Aaron Hernandez and Alfonzo Dennard are all active for the Patriots.