It's been a long wait for Fred Taylor, but the Patriots' running back is finally back in the lineup after missing seven games with an injured toe on his left foot.
Quarterback Tom Brady is also active, but that's not surprising for two reasons. First, there's no way he was going to miss this game. And second, the Patriots only have two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, so he wouldn’t be inactive unless they promoted Jonathan Crompton from the practice squad.
Safety Jarrad Page is also back in uniform after missing five games with an injured calf.
The Patriots released their inactive list for Thursday's game against the Lions, and it includes right guard Stephen Neal (shoulder), defensive lineman Myron Pryor (back), cornerback Jonathan Wilhite (hip), defensive lineman Mike Wright (neck/concussion), tackle Mark LeVoir (elbow), defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick, offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger and wide receiver Taylor Price. Deaderick, Ohrnberger and Price were not on this week's injury report.
Deaderick's sitting is a surprising after he's played relatively well. It's the fourth time he's been inactive this season and the first time since Week 3. Price is out for the 11th consecutive game. Ohrnberger is missing his eighth straight game. LeVoir is out for the seventh week in a row, but it's the first time he's missed a game with the elbow injury.
Neal and Pryor are out for the third consecutive game, while Wilhite is missing his second straight game and Wright is out of action for the first time this season.