DETROIT — The New England Patriots will be down three starting defenders in their Week 3 matchup with the Detroit Lions.
The Patriots ruled out defensive end Trey Flowers (concussion), strong safety Patrick Chung (concussion) and cornerback Eric Rowe (groin) on Saturday, indicating they didn’t travel to Detroit with the rest of their teammates.
The Patriots previously had ruled out tight end Jacob Hollister on Friday. That means the Patriots must declare three more players inactive Sunday at 6:50 p.m.
The Patriots likely will move Devin McCourty from free safety to strong safety to replace Chung. That will make Duron Harmon the Patriots’ starting free safety and Jonathan Jones their top nickel defensive back. Jason McCourty is the most likely replacement for Rowe. Jason McCourty replaced Rowe in Week 2.
Second-year pro Derek Rivers is expected to make his NFL debut with Flowers out. Rivers missed the 2017 season with a torn ACL and has been a healthy scratch through two weeks of the 2018 season. Keionta Davis, Adrian Clayborn, Deatrich Wise, Kyle Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower also likely will be used to replace Flowers.