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Patriots downgrade signficant bunch

Posted by Monique Walker, Globe Staff  December 25, 2010 08:30 PM

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BUFFALO -- The Patriots need a victory against the Buffalo Bills tomorrow to secure the AFC East title and home-field in the playoffs, but that task may be a little bit tougher.

Moments ago, the Patriots announced tight end Aaron Hernandez (hip), linebacker/defensive end Jermaine Cunningham (calf), defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick (shoulder/flu) and offensive lineman Dan Connolly (concussion) will not play tomorrow. Defensive linemen Myron Pryor (back) and Mike Wright (concusion), who have missed a few games already, also will be out.

It means another game with a thin defensive line for the Patriots with Deaderick joining Pryor and Wright as unable to play. In the Patriots' final injury report of the week on Friday, defensive lineman Ron Brace (concussion) was listed as questionable after being limited at practice all week.

The other players who remain questionable for tomorrow are linebacker Tully Banta-Cain (groin) and safety James Sanders (flu).

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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