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Some thoughts on the initial roster

Posted by Greg A. Bedard  August 31, 2012 10:09 PM

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Some thoughts looking over the roster:

  • Already made my thoughts known on the early veteran cuts.

  • This is by no means the roster for the opener against the Titans.

  • The season is over for RB Jeff Demps, who likely sustained a bruised knee (MCL or PCL) against the Giants. He'll get to redshirt and get ready for next season.

  • Demps is NOT eligible for the new in-season IR rule. To be eligible, the player has to be on the 53-man roster Friday night and then moved to IR after 4 p.m. on Tuesday. TE Visanthe Shiancoe would be a prime candidate. That would open up another roster spot.

  • The Patriots will be looking for a fullback and receiver, and anybody else they think can help them. Jacob Hester (Chargers) and Ovie Mughelli (Rams) are top veterans who were released Friday.

  • They are at 52 players (22 offense, 27 defense) right now.

  • That does not include guard Brian Waters, who apparently is still on reserve/did not report and does not count against the roster.

  • Patriots are really light on the offensive line with just eight on the active roster.

  • Conversely, they are very heavy on the defensive line (11), especially DE (six).

  • Could Jabar Gaffney and/or Deion Branch come back at some point? Yes, but that doesn't mean it will happen. Gaffney was telling teams he's a week or two away from coming back from his quad injury. He could be signed elsewhere. Branch will likely get less action and be almost the 54th guy on the roster, along with Gerard Warren (55th).

  • I wouldn't freak out about the Patriots having only four receivers (for now). Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski and a running back are the base set. Plus, TE Daniels Fells will be on the field a lot, let alone a fullback if/when they get one. Oh, and Hernandez is a receiver.

  • Players with the most tenuous spots: 1. DT Marcus Forston; 2. LB Mike Rivera; 3. DE Justin Francis; 4. C/G Nick McDonald; 5. CB Sterling Moore.

  • One man's practice squad: A QB to be named later; RB to be named later; FB Eric Kettani; WR Jeremy Ebert; OT Matt Kopa; OG Jeremiah Warren; LB Jeff Tarpinian; TE Alex Silvestro or a safety to be named later.

  • The Patriots are back to having Danny Woodhead or whichever defensive starter they want to put at risk of injury (defensive backs) back to returning kickoffs.

  • Waivers have to be in by noon on Saturday.

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

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