Defensive lineman Richard Seymour (knee) headlines a list of five Patriots players who were downgraded to “out” for Sunday’s game against the Falcons.
The others are linebacker Matt Chatham and cornerbacks Randall Gay, Tyrone Poole and Chad Scott.
With offensive tackle Matt Light and running back Kevin Faulk already having been declared out earlier this week, the Patriots’ seven inactive players are finalized.
In Seymour, the Patriots lose their leading tackler (37) and one of their most dominant playmakers. Look for 6-foot-3, 290-pound Jarvis Green (57 games played, 16 starts) to fill the void, as he did in the 2004 playoffs against the Colts and Steelers.
Seymour was questionable throughout the week after appearing to injure his knee while playing fullback in the team’s short-yardage package against the Chargers.
Meanwhile, there were some positive signs during the week as Gay and Poole both returned to practice. But apparently, they didn’t do enough to get back on the field on game day. With Chad Scott also out, that leaves the team with three healthy corners on the game-day roster: Asante Samuel, Duane Starks and Ellis Hobbs. Samuel and Starks have started the last two games.
It appears rookie safety James Sanders, who has missed the first four games with an ankle injury, could see his first action. He’d add important depth to the secondary.