The New England Patriots announced Saturday afternoon that five players have been downgraded from "Questionable" to "Out" for Sunday afternoon's game against the Denver Broncos. The five players are safety Patrick Chung (foot), linebacker Brandon Spikes (knee), right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back/foot), running back Shane Vereen (hamstring) and wide receiver Deion Branch (groin).
Chung, Spikes and Vollmer have all missed extended time and have played a game for the Patriots since the month of November. Vereen meanwhile has been knocked out of action for the Pats since December with a hamstring injury he sustained against the Philadelphia Eagles. Branch marks the newest addition to the list of Patriots who will be missing Sunday's game.
In last Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins, Branch was taken out of the game midway after sustaining a groin injured that caused him to miss the rest of the game. To many, Branch's absence is a bit concerning because he's been able to practice on a limited basis this week with the team. However, this could be Bill Belichick being cautious about the health of his players. With Branch out, Chad Ochocinco could now see some additional work along side Wes Welker.
Kyle Arrington (foot), Dan Connolly (groin), Julian Edelman (back), Dane Fletcher (thumb), James Ihedigbo (shoulder), Devin McCourty (shoulder), Matthew Slater (shoulder), Wes Welker (knee), and Danny Woodhead (abdomen) all remain questionable for the Patriots on Sunday.