The New England Patriots will be as healthy and stocked at WR as they have been all season on Sunday vs. the Houston Texans.
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Patriots Activate Donte Moncrief
The Patriots activated veteran wideout Donte Moncrief, and that puts the team’s healthy wide receiver number at six. With Moncrief’s activation, here is a look at who is expected to be active at the position, per ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss:
- Jakobi Meyers
- Damiere Byrd
- N’Keal Harry (questionable/shoulder)
- Isaiah Ford
- Donte Moncrief
- Gunner Olszewski
Meyers has emerged as the team’s No. 1 receiver, but there is definitely room for a second, dependable option in the passing game. That post is clearly up for grabs with the steady Damiere Byrd, the underwhelming and banged-up N’Keal Harry, and now Moncrief is in the competition.
Moncrief’s Potential Contributions on Sunday
Moncrief has been a part of Patriots practices for the past 10 days or so, but it’s obvious, he’s still learning the team’s system. Moncrief is an experienced veteran, so it’s possible he could become acclimated a bit quicker than a very young player.
Still, the Patriots have never been the kind of team to throw a player on the field with too big of a role before he’s ready to contribute on multiple levels. Case in point, rookie Isaiah Zuber was only allowed to run a few jet sweeps and end around in his first appearances before finally getting a couple of snaps in the passing game.
As I said, Moncrief is a veteran, and he could see more on Sunday, but I also wouldn’t be shocked if he plays in five or fewer snaps.
Still No Julian Edelman
In case you’re wondering, Julian Edelman didn’t practice all week, and that almost 100 percent guarantees he will not be activated for Sunday’s game with the Texans. Edelman seems more likely to make it back for the Week 12 meeting with the Arizona Cardinals. Quite honestly, the Patriots should have enough to take care of the 2-7 Texans, but I’d expect Houston to bring their best effort.
They still have some talented veterans like quarterback Deshaun Watson, defensive lineman J.J. Watt, and speedy wide receiver Will Fuller. They aren’t about to lie down, so Moncrief and anyone else who gets an opportunity will have to be on their games if the Patriots are to extend their winning streak to three games.