New England will not have Steve Gregory active Sunday night against the Broncos. The safety broke a thumb November 3 against Pittsburgh and, despite returning to practice this week, will have to sit out a second game.
Surprisingly, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was given the green light to play. According to an NFL.com report, Dennard underwent a procedure to repair a damaged meniscus the previous weekend. He was expected to miss an extended period of time.
Brandon Bolden returns after missing Monday's game against Carolina. Rookie receiver Josh Boyce is sidelined yet again. He got his first action in five weeks returning kicks against the Panthers. That duty will likely fall back on running back LeGarrette Blount.
The full list of Patriots inactives:
S - Steve Gregory (Thumb)
TE - Michael Hoomanawanui (Knee)
WR - Josh Boyce (Healthy scratch)
DL - Jake Bequette (Healthy scratch)
LB - Steve Beauharnais (Healthy scratch)
DL - Marcus Forston (Healthy scratch)
DL - Chris Barker (Healthy scratch)
Wes Welker (concussion) was cleared for contact and will play against his former team at Gillette. The Patriots defense will at least get a break via the absence of Broncos tight end Julius Thomas. On the other side of the ball, Champ Bailey's deactivation is another positive for the home team.
Inactive for the Broncos:
DB - Champ Bailey (Foot)
TE - Julius Thomas (Knee)
OL - Chris Kuper (Ankle)
C - J.D. Walton (Ankle)
QB - Zac Dysert
RB - Ronnie Hillman
DB - Michael Huff