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Smith among inactives for Patriots-Jets

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By PFW staff

The Jets will be without return specialist and "Wildcat" quarterback Brad Smith for their divisional-round playoff game against the Patriots on Sunday.

Also inactive for the Jets are FB John Conner, DE Vernon Gholston, DT Jarron Gilbert, TE Matt Mulligan, TE Jeff Cumberland, DT Marcus Dixon and QB Kellen Clemens.

Patriots DL Myron Pryor, who returned to play the season finale after missing seven weeks with a back injury will not play in Sunday's playoff game. Joining Pryor on the Patriots' inactive list are RB Fred Taylor, OL Rich Ohrnberger, OL Mark LeVoir, WR Taylor Price, RB Thomas Clayton, CB Tony Carter and OLB Marques Murrell.

The way we see it

Smith's absence is a huge one for the Jets, as he can impact the game in a number of ways. As a kick returner, he often gives New York great starting field position. And on offense, he is the ultimate X-factor, making plays as a receiver, "Wildcat" quarterback and decoy.
 
Conner being held out is a surprise, as the rookie is a valuable blocker on special teams and in the backfield. With an injury to CB Drew Coleman, however, the team needed another healthy body in the secondary, which meant the newly-signed Isaiah Trufant is dressing today and can be pressed into duty if needed.

For the Patriots, it's not a surprise that Pryor is out after missing practice all week, but it's still a big loss to a unit that is already without DE Ron Brace and DT Mike Wright. Expect a lot of snaps for NT Vince Wilfork and rookie DL Kyle Love and Brandon Deaderick will be counted on for big games.

No other surprises among the Patriots' inactives. Taylor played sparingly in the last few games after missing most of the season with turf toes. All six of the Patriots' players who were listed as questionable are active.

 

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