The New England Patriots hope to hit the win column for the first time this season when they visit the rival New York Jets for a Week 3 showdown. After Jets QB Zach Wilson’s mistake-filled Week 2 performance, the Pats can’t afford to miss out on capitalizing on this juicy opportunity.
As usual, only 48 players from New England’s 53-man roster can suit up this Sunday. If the Patriots want to prevent even more disaster and a 0-3 start to the year, Bill Belichick must ensure that he deploys the best lineup possible.
Keeping that in mind, here are the five most likely Patriots players to be inactive against the Jets on Sunday.
Projecting Patriots Week 3 Inactives vs. Jets
1. Demario Douglas
Rookie wideout Demario Douglas created enough noise with his preseason performance to earn himself a spot on the 53-man roster.
In Week 1, the decision to play him was worth it as he caught 4-of-7 targets for 40 yards. He looked on his way to a similar performance in Week 2 against the Dolphins with two catches for 19 yards through the first quarter. Then, disaster struck.
On his second catch of the day, Douglas fumbled the ball at Miami’s 39-yard line with 10 seconds left in the opening frame. It was frustrating to see since the Patriots were in field-goal territory and the Dolphins went on to score a touchdown on the ensuing drive that put them up 10-0.
Belichick doesn’t appreciate untimely mistakes and promptly benched Douglas, who didn’t take an offensive snap for the remainder of the game.
Although I’m sure Douglas will bounce back eventually, I won’t be shocked if he’s inactive on Sunday. With DeVante Parker healthy enough to play, there isn’t a reason for us to deploy five WRs (including Matthew Slater).
I see the coaching staff giving the rookie wideout a game off to clear his mind before coming back stronger in Week 4.