Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 9/10/13
FOXBORO, Mass. — It’s amazing how much can change in one week. Since the last time we put together a projected depth chart, there have been injuries, cuts, signings and a couple key performances that shook up the Patriots’ roster. James Develin and Leon Washington were added to the roster, while A.J. Francis and Braxston Cave were cut, then added to the practice squad. The Patriots don’t seem entirely set on a final 53-man roster, especially with so many injuries at tight end, wide receiver and running back. After Week 1, here’s how we see the updated depth chart: Quarterback: Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett No changes here. The Patriots brought in some quarterbacks for workouts, but none of them stuck. Running back: Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden, Leon Washington Vereen had the chance to overtake Ridley, but an injury is forcing him out for the next few weeks. Ridley should be the first running back to touch the ball on Thursday night against the Jets. Brady needs some familiarity. Third-down back: Vereen, Washington, Bolden The Patriots may try to roll with their bell cow even more than usual on Thursday night with Vereen out. Washington’s best days as a running back are behind him. Fullback: James Develin, Michael Hoomanawanui Develin took all the fullback snaps on Sunday. Wide receiver: Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Boyce, Aaron Dobson, Matthew Slater After a strong showing by Edelman and a rough debut from Thompkins, the Patriots should have a new No. 2 receiver when Amendola is able to take the field again. Edelman will likely be Brady’s go-to guy on Thursday night. Slot receiver: Amendola, Edelman, Boyce There’s not much difference at this point between the Patriots’ outside receivers and slot guys, but the team has an excess of shifty inside pass-catchers. Tight end: Rob Gronkowski, Hoomanawanui, Zach Sudfeld, Develin It’s amazing how shallow this position has gotten. Until Gronkowski comes back, Hoomanawanui is a lone wolf. Tackle: Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Will Svitek When Solder went to play tight end, Cannon came in to play left tackle. Svitek is still dealing with a knee injury and may not be good to go against the Jets. Guard: Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Cannon, Chris Barker, Josh Kline, Svitek Connolly was the weakest link on the offensive line last week. There’s still a chance Cannon steals his spot at right guard before the season is over. Center: Ryan Wendell, Connolly, Kline If Wendell went down with an injury, some shake ups would occur along the offensive line. Defensive end: Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Michael Buchanan, Jake Bequette This looked pretty clear cut on Sunday afternoon. Buchanan played 11 snaps to Bequette’s zero. Defensive tackle: Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, Joe Vellano It still would not be surprising to see the Patriots bring in another veteran body here. Kyle Love is still out there. Third-down interior rusher: Jones On third down, the Patriots slid Jones over to defensive tackle and brought Buchanan in to play defensive end. Linebacker: Jerod Mayo, Dont’a Hightower, Brandon Spikes, Jamie Collins, Dane Fletcher, Steve Beauharnais, Chris White Spikes left the field because of dehydration and Hightower took his spot in the nickel defense, which was essentially the Patriots’ base on Sunday. The team looked good with any combination of the three linebackers out there. Cornerback: Aqib Talib, Kyle Arrington, Alfonzo Dennard, Devin McCourty, Logan Ryan, Marquice Cole For now, Arrington is still above Dennard on the depth chart. When the Patriots took their few snaps in the base 4-3, it was Arrington, not Dennard left on the field. Ryan was the team’s dime defensive back. If it came down to it, though, McCourty would likely slide down to cornerback before the Patriots would allow Ryan to start outside. Safety: Devin McCourty, Steve Gregory, Duron Harmon, Tavon Wilson, Cole, Nate Ebner Even with Harmon hurt, I still think he’s ahead of Wilson. Wilson played just one snap in the Patriots’ opener. Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski Punter: Ryan Allen Longsnapper: Danny Aiken Kick returner: Washington, Blount, Slater, Boyce, McCourty, Vereen Punt returner: Edelman, Washington, Amendola, Thompkins, Boyce, Vereen Italics indicates injured, strikethrough indicates out. Have a question for Doug Kyed? Send it to him via Twitter at @DougKyedNESN or send it here. Filed under: Doug Kyed, New England Patriots, Top Stories
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