The New England Patriots will be without two of their top wide receivers Sunday afternoon against the Dolphins as both Wes Welker and Deion Branch have been listed as inactive for the Week 17 game.
In all, the Patriots have eight inactive players: linebacker Tully Banta-Cain (groin), offensive lineman Dan Connolly (concussion), defensive lineman Ron Brace (elbow), defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick, defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion) and tight end Aaron Hernandez (hip).
Welker was limited at Friday's practice, though the team said is was not injury related. Branch was questionable with a knee injury. With a wet field at Gillette Stadium making for a slippery surface, it's likely the Patriots didn't want to risk anything in a meaningless finale. After all, it was last year's final game, in Houston, in which Welker tore both is MCL and ACL.
With Welker and Branch both inactive, it leaves rookie wide receiver Taylor Price, a third-round pick from Ohio, active for the first time in his career. It also may be an indication as to just how little we'll see Tom Brady on Sunday.