Per Mike Reiss of ESPN, the New England Patriots have listed their inactive players for Week 1:
- LG Cole Strange (knee)
- RG Mike Onwenu (ankle)
- WR DeVante Parker (knee)
- OLB Anfernee Jennings
- DT Sam Roberts
- CB Shaun Wade
Based on no injuries listed, the inactive status of Jennings, Roberts and Wade are likely due to simply being at the bottom of the depth charts at their given positions. All showed flashes in preseason, but making them inactive for Week 1 is not a big surprise.
DeVante Parker was reportedly limited in practice throughout this past week. Last season he missed 4 games, finishing with 31 receptions for 539 yards and 3 touchdowns. There were high hopes for a bounce back year in 2023, especially after signing a 4-year extension over the summer, but Parker will need to wait at least another week to impress the Foxboro Faithful.
Cole Strange and Mike Onwenu both being out is very concerning. Both were extremely limited throughout camp (Strange suffering an injury in practice; Onwenu recovering from offseason surgery) but there was hope they would be ready for Week 1. In their absence, New England is left with three rookies as options to play guard against the Philadelphia Eagles formidable defensive front. Atonio Mafi will likely get the start at left guard in place of Strange, while some combination of Jake Andrews (who has mostly played center) and/or Sidy Sow (who has mostly played right tackle) should share reps at right guard. Veteran James Ferentz is a member of the Patriots practice squad, with experience at all of the interior offensive line positions, but was not elevated from the practice squad for Week 1.
A very difficult opening tilt for the New England Patriots has suddenly become significantly tougher.