Linebacker Dont’a Hightower and defensive end Chandler Jones will be on the sideline as well as the Patriots will rest them in hopes of getting them back at closer to 100 percent for the playoffs. Hightower has been bothered by a knee injury for several weeks while Jones injured his toe at practice this week.
The Patriots will open their playoff run at home in the Divisional Round, but they won’t know if they are the No. 1 or No. 2 seed until this weekend’s results are in.
Left tackle Sebastian Vollmer was expected to miss Sunday’s game with the ankle injury he suffered against the Jets last weekend and he was officially ruled out Friday. Linebacker Jonathan Freeny and cornerback Justin Coleman round out the list of players who definitely won’t play.
Assuming no roster moves are made with any of those players, the Patriots will need to list one other player as inactive on Sunday. If they want to rest another starter, that player could come from the group of nine players given questionable tags. That group includes wide receiver Danny Amendola, safety Devin McCourty and defensive end Rob Ninkovich.