Pats sit Welker and Branch for Week Seventeen

The Patriots have already locked up the AFC’s No. 1 seed, so they won’t take chances with wide receivers Deion Branch (knee) and Wes Welker (rest) in Week Seventeen.

Both players are inactive against the Dolphins.

Also out for the Pats: Defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick, tight end Aaron Hernandez, defensive tackle Ron Brace, linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, and defensive end Mike Wright.

Inactive for the Dolphins: Cornerback Nolan Carroll, offensive linemen Lydon Murtha and Allen Barbre, defensive tackles Chris and Ryan Baker, wide receiver Julius Pruitt, linebacker Mike Rivera, and tight end Anthony Fasano.