After starting the season 2-6, pretty much every game is a must-win for the New England Patriots from now on if they want to make the playoffs. That includes this weekend's home matchup against the Washington Commanders, who also have a losing record at 3-5.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, they'll likely be shorthanded again this week after suffering several injuries to critical players in last week's loss to the Miami Dolphins. Accordingly, not everyone on the active roster will be able to suit up this weekend.
With that in mind, here are five players who will likely be inactive for New England on Sunday.
5 Patriots Likely Inactive Week 9
1. DeVante Parker
DeVante Parker is one of several Patriots players currently dealing with an injury. He was forced to leave last week's game against the Dolphins with a concussion after absorbing a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit that was not flagged by officials.
The veteran wideout is currently questionable for Week 9 (he was a DNP at practice on Wednesday) and will need to clear the NFL's concussion protocol in order to play. New England has been pretty cautious with concussions this year, however, typically giving players at least one week to recover (if not more).
While the Patriots could certainly use Parker out there on Sunday to help pick up the slack for Kendrick Bourne (torn ACL), Bill Belichick will likely be cautious with Parker and hold him out. New England has too much money invested in him ($9.1 million guaranteed) to mess around with his health and needs him to be healthy the rest of the way, so don't expect Parker to dress for Sunday's contest.