Patriots inactives: DeVante Parker, two starting offensive linemen ruled out against Eagles

Patriots

The Patriots O-line is going up against an Eagles pass rush that logged 70.0 sacks last year.

Guard Cole Strange (69) and New England Patriots center David Andrews (60) during the second quarter. The New England Patriots host the Buffalo Bills in a NFL Thursday night game December 1, 2022 at Gillette stadium in Foxborough, MA.
Cole Strange (left) will not play in New England’s season opener against the Eagles. Barry Chin / The Boston Globe

If Mac Jones and the Patriots are going to walk out of Week 1 with a victory over the Eagles, they’re going to have to withstand a potent Philly pass rush without two of their starters on the offensive line.

The Patriots released their inactives list on Sunday just a few hours before kick-off, with both starting guards Cole Strange and Mike Onwenu ruled out due to injury.

Here is the Patriots’ full inactives list:

OG Cole Strange

OG Mike Onwenu

WR DeVante Parker 

LB Anfernee Jennings

CB Shaun Wade

DL Sam Roberts

The Patriots’ porous offensive line loomed as the team’s top question mark all preseason. Those concerns will only be magnified tonight now that two of the team’s stalwarts on the interior of the O-line are now ruled out.

The Eagles boast the best pass-rushing unit in the entire NFL, leading the league last season with 70.0 sacks. The Steelers finished in second place in the same category … with 15 fewer sacks.

Both Strange (left guard) and Onwenu (right guard) were sidelined for most of the preseason, with Onwenu recovering from offseason ankle surgery and Strange hampered during the team’s first padded practice with a knee injury.

With Strange and Onwenu both ruled out, expect rookie Atonio Mafi to slot into one of the team’s starting spots at guard, while a rotation of other players like Sidy Sow, Jake Andrews, and recently acquired tackles like Vederian Lowe/Tyrone Wheatley Jr. could be moved over to the other vacancy at guard.

There is still no set starter in place for right tackle, with veteran Calvin Anderson likely tabbed as the next man up in what should be a daunting matchup against Haason Reddick (16.0 sacks in 2022).

Parker also stands as a significant loss for the Patriots, given his ability to reel in “50-50” balls on the outside. The 30-year-old boundary wideout missed a pair of practices two weeks ago and was limited on the team’s injury report this week. 

With Parker out of the equation, Kendrick Bourne, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Demario Douglas, and Kayshon Boutte represent New England’s remaining options at wideout. Rookies like Douglas and Boutte could be in line for added reps now that Parker is out. 

If there is any good news to glean from New England’s inactives list, it’s that Rhamondre Stevenson has been cleared to play. The Patriots’ top offensive conduit missed Friday’s practice in Foxborough due to a stomach bug, but will be able to play on Sunday against Philly. 


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