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Welker, Branch inactive for Pats' season finale

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By PFW staff

The Patriots aren't going to mess around in this year's season finale, as they ruled WR Wes Welker inactive.

The 13-2 Pats have already clinched the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Last season, Welker tore his ACL and MCL in Week 17 and missed the Patriots' playoff loss to the Ravens.

Also inactive are OLB Tully Banta-Cain, DE Ron Brace, WR Deion Branch, DE Brandon Deaderick, TE Aaron Hernandez, DL Mike Wright and OG Dan Connolly.

Third-round WR Taylor Price will be active for the first time in his NFL career.

The way we see it

It's a bit surprising to see Welker inactive after he said during the week that he would play. Branch is dealing with a knee injury while Hernandez and Deaderick missed Week 15 with injuries. This should give the defensive line more time to get healthy. Ryan Wendell will start for Connolly.

Patriots fans should be excited to get a look at Price, a speedy receiver out of Ohio whom the coaches are very high on but has yet to be active this season.

The decision to keep Welker out would make us think QB Tom Brady won't be playing very much in Foxborough.

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