MIAMI -- Sharing some thoughts on the Patriots inactive players for their Week 13 matchup with the Miami Dolphins:
1. Vollmer in line to start. Perhaps the biggest news from the announcement of the final four inactive players (guard Logan Mankins, tight end Rob Gronkowski and defensive end Chandler Jones were already confirmed as out) is that offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back/knee) will return to the lineup after missing last Thursday's game against the Jets. That puts him in line to start at right tackle, which provides the Patriots with a big boost along the line. Second-year player Marcus Cannon filled in for Vollmer last week and performed well; Vollmer, however, has been one of the top right tackles in all of football this year.
2. Wide receivers all to suit up. All four of the Patriots wide receivers were limited in practice this week and listed as questionable, but all four will dress today, including Julian Edelman (concussion). Edelman fills in behind Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd on the wide receiver depth chart, and has played his best football of 2012 in recent weeks.
3. Shiancoe a healthy scratch. With Gronkowski out, the Patriots turned to Daniel Fells to fill many of his snaps last week against the Jets. Fellow tight end Visanthe Shiancoe was a limited participant, and is a healthy scratch today. That leaves the Patriots with just three active tight ends, including Michael Hoomanwanui, who has often been used in a fullback role. Aaron Hernandez played extensively in his first game back from injury last week, and we would expect the same today.
4. Cole in, Martin out. Defensive back Marquice Cole was a surprise inactive last week against the Jets, as veteran Derrick Martin dressed and was used as a core special teams player. This week, it's Cole who will dress, as Martin has been de-activated. Cole has been a steady presence on special teams this season, and also adds value as a reserve defensive back.
5. Develin promoted, but sits. Fullback James Develin was promoted from the practice squad this week, but is a healthy scratch. Following the suspension of defensive end Jermaine Cunningham on Monday, it's possible the team made the move to promote Develin to be in accordance with the league's rule of having 53 players on the active roster for each game. Develin could make his debut later down the line.
6. All four d-ends active. With Chandler Jones out with an ankle injury, and top backup Jermaine Cunningham suspended, the Patriots are dressing all their defensive ends. That could mean more time for rookie Jake Bequette, who has been active for two games this season.