Patriots Roster Move Suggests Polarizing WR Will Be Inactive Vs. Bills

Getty Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots‘ announced their practice squad elevations on Friday, and it may be an indication about the team’s upcoming inactives list ahead of their playoff battle with the Buffalo Bills.

Here is a look at the Patriots’ practice squad call-ups per ESPN’s Field Yates:

While Ekuale and both cornerbacks figure to play a role for the Patriots on Saturday, the most interesting call-up is WR Kristian Wilkerson. The last time he was called up was Week 17 and Wilkerson made the most of his opportunity.

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He played 60 snaps from scrimmage, had 8 targets, made 4 receptions for 42 yards and had 2 TDs in the Patriots’ 50-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. It looked as if it might be a breakout performance for Wilkerson that led to him being a regular contributor in the team’s offense. Unfortunately, Wilkerson wasn’t active for the season finale loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Wilkerson will have his chance to shine on one of the biggest stages the NFL has to offer, but at what cost to one of his teammates?

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What Does This Mean For N’Keal Harry?

The last time Wilkerson was active, former first-round pick N’Keal Harry was a healthy scratch for the game. Grunt Talks’ Bobby Thompson thinks something similar might be in the works.

Harry returned to the lineup against the Dolphins but was ineffective. He played on just 12 snaps, which was 19% of the offensive plays. Harry had one target and no receptions. Bill Belichick will always play the guys who give him the best chance to win each week.

For that not to be Harry in the playoffs after yet another disappointing season is unfortunate. If the Patriots don’t beat the Bills on Saturday–or even if they do–Harry might have played his last game in a Patriots uniform.

While he is technically under contract for the 2022 season, Harry seems like a prime candidate for a trade or release.

You’ll Know the Patriots Are Winning If They Do These 3 Things

  • Score in the First Quarter

Slow starts have been the death of the Patriots this season. The team is 2-6 when they haven’t scored in the first quarter. New England’s offense, special teams or the defense needs to get the team on the board early. Perhaps it will serve to provide some confidence for the remainder of the game.

  • Turn the Ball over Less Than Twice

Like most teams, turnovers kill the Patriots. They have to take care of the football. When they don’t, they fall behind, and this team isn’t built to erase deficits. New England is 2-7 when they turn the ball over 2 or more times. This falls on Mac Jones and the running backs to provide ball security.

  • Rush for at Least 125 yards

The key to the Patriots’ attack is running the football. Jones will need to make some plays, but their effectiveness is in the ground game. New England is 8-3 when they amass 125 yards or more on the ground. That includes 149 yards on the ground against the Bills in the 14-10 win back in Week 13.

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