Patriots-Dolphins Inactive List Reaction: J.J. Taylor Up With Damien Harris Out

Patriots rookie running back J.J. Taylor is set to play for the first time since Week 3


Dec 20, 2020

Sony Michel will get a chance to prove he’s still a starting-caliber running back Sunday against the Miami Dolphins with New England Patriots starter Damien Harris out.

Harris didn’t make the trip to Miami on Saturday after being ruled out with an ankle injury. Wide receiver Donte Moncrief also didn’t travel because of a thigh injury.

Michel likely will take over Harris’ starting role at running back.

Here’s the Patriots’ full list of inactives:

QB Brian Hoyer
RB Damien Harris
WR Donte Moncrief
TE Jordan Thomas
CB Joejuan Williams

— Quarterback Jarrett Stidham has played in the Patriots’ last two games — on both sides of blowouts — as Cam Newton’s backup. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Newton will start Sunday against the Dolphins, however.

— Michel, James White and rookie J.J Taylor will dress against the Dolphins. Taylor, an undrafted free agent out of Arizona, hasn’t played since Week 3 as he’s dealt with injuries and illnesses. He’s also been a healthy scratch. The undersized running back showed promise, picking up 70 yards on 16 carries, early in the season.

— Jakobi Meyers, Damiere Byrd, N’Keal Harry and Gunner Olszewski are available at wide receiver with Moncrief out and Julian Edelman still on injured reserve. The Patriots didn’t promote any receivers from the practice squad to fill in for Moncrief.

— Patriots rookie tight ends Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene will be active together for the second straight week. The Patriots need to figure out a way to get their 2020 third-round picks involved. They’ve combined for one catch for 8 yards on two targets.

— With Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki out, it seems the Patriots didn’t feel a need to dress Williams, who has covered more athletic tight ends this season. Strong safety Terrence Brooks will dress over Williams. Brooks has been a healthy scratch the last two weeks. The Dolphins will be without their top five pass-catchers: Gesicki and wide receivers Devante Parker and Jakeem Grant (all inactive) plus running back Myles Gaskin (COVID-19 list) and wide receiver Preston Williams (injured reserve).

— Former Patriots wide receiver Isaiah Ford, who the Patriots acquired in a trade with the Dolphins and subsequently waived, could wind up playing a major role in Miami’s offense. Ford chose to sign with the Dolphins’ practice squad over being reacquired by the Patriots.

— The Patriots activated outside linebacker Shilique Calhoun from injured reserve. Expect him to play an early-down role, setting the edge in the Patriots’ defense.

— The Patriots will have offensive tackles Jermaine Eluemunor and Justin Herron, both of whom were listed as questionable on Friday, available. We’ll find out which player will start at left tackle when the Patriots’ offense takes the field.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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