Now a weekly tradition, the New England Patriots made a flurry of roster moves Saturday before their Week 12 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.
To recap, the Patriots:
— Placed left tackle Isaiah Wynn, defensive tackle Carl Davis and running back Rex Burkhead on injured reserve and tight end Jake Burt on practice squad injured reserve
— Activated rookie offensive tackle Justin Herron from injured reserve
— Temporarily elevated wide receiver Donte Moncrief and defensive tackle Akeem Spence from the practice squad
So, what do we make of these moves?
— With Wynn out, a number of players could start at left tackle, including Herron, Mike Onwenu, Jermaine Eluemunor or Korey Cunningham. Don’t rule out Herron even though Eluemunor is the Patriots’ top reserve offensive lineman. The Patriots might feel more comfortable with Herron in that role since he’s played 35 snaps there already this season.
— In addition to Spence, defensive tackles Adam Butler, Byron Cowart, Lawrence Guy and Isaiah Mack also are eligible to play Sunday. Spence’s activation means Butler or Cowart, both questionable, won’t be able to play Sunday or that the Patriots prefer Spence to Mack. Butler missed Week 11 with a shoulder injury. The Patriots like to dress four defensive tackles. So, it would be Spence, Guy and two others.
Spence, who will be 29 years old on Sunday, has a ton of experience in his seven-year career, starting 57 of 103 games. He was only signed this week and would be making his Patriots debut. He has accumulated 10.5 career sacks and 35 quarterback hits after stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles.
— Moncrief likely will be active over Isaiah Ford for the second straight week. Moncrief played four offensive snaps and 12 on special teams in Week 11.
— With Burkhead out for the season, expect to see Sony Michel return to the field for the first time since Week 3. Damien Harris should still get the bulk of the Patriots’ carries with James White serving as the team’s top pass-catching back. Harris also could see more targets with Burkhead out.
— Assuming the Patriots will dress eight offensive linemen, they’ll need to list five players on the inactive list. Our guess: quarterback Brian Hoyer, running back J.J. Taylor, Ford, cornerback Myles Bryant and one of Butler, Cowart or Mack.