Dan Connolly, Gerard Warren Return to Lineup for Patriots


Patriots center Dan Connolly is back in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Broncos after missing three weeks with a groin injury.

Center Nick McDonald and quarterback Ryan Mallett are the final two inactive players for the Patriots' game in Denver. New England already announced wide receiver Deion Branch, safety Patrick Chung, linebacker Brandon Spikes, right tackle Sebastian Vollmer and running back Shane Vereen would not play.

McDonald, who is a healthy scratch, is inactive for the first time since getting promoted to the active roster in Week 13 against the Colts. He started each of the last two games and received high praise from head coach Bill Belichick and his teammates. The Patriots have Ryan Wendell (center and guard) and Donald Thomas (guard) as backup interior linemen for Sunday's game. Marcus Cannon, whose only action in the NFL has been at right tackle, could conceivably play guard, too.

Mallett is inactive for the 11th consecutive game and the 13th time this season.

Defensive lineman Gerard Warren returns to the lineup after he was a healthy scratch last week in Washington.

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