FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots’ quarterback competition has resolved itself. You know, the battle for the backup role.
Everyone knows Cam Newton is starting for the Patriots, but Brian Hoyer will be New England’s backup with Jarrett Stidham inactive Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins.
The Patriots are dressing eight offensive linemen, so they only needed to declare five inactives under a new NFL rule.
QB Jarrett Stidham
TE Dalton Keene (neck)
OT Korey Cunningham
LB Josh Uche
LB Cassh Maluia
Here are some notes:
— Stidham was the Patriots’ backup quarterback all of last season but now is relegated to third-string duty behind Newton and Hoyer. That’s not a great sign for Stidham’s progress this summer.
— Keene was questionable with a neck injury heading into Sunday. The Patriots have Ryan Izzo and rookie Devin Asiasi and fullback Jakob Johnson active against the Dolphins.
— Rookies Mike Onwenu and Justin Herron and second-year pro Hjalte Froholdt will back up prospective starting offensive linemen LT Isaiah Wynn, LG Joe Thuney, C David Andrews, RG Shaq Mason and RT Jermaine Eluemunor.
— Uche was expected to start, so his ruling is a surprise. The Patriots are dressing Ja’Whaun Bentley, Shilique Calhoun, Brandon Copeland, Anfernee Jennings, Derek Rivers, John Simon and Chase Winovich at linebacker. Bentley, Calhoun, Simon and maybe either Copeland or Jennings are the projected starters. The Patriots are light at inside linebacker with just Bentley, Copeland and Jennings as the options at that position. The Patriots also could use a strong safety like Terrence Brooks, Adrian Phillips or Kyle Dugger in the box.
— Patriots practice squad call-ups RB J.J. Taylor, DT Xavier Williams and K Nick Folk all will be active.
— The following players will be making their practice debuts: Newton, Taylor, Phillips, Dugger, Copeland, Jennings, Froholdt, Onwenu, Asiasi, WR Damiere Byrd, S Cody Davis.
— Winovich and WR N’Keal Harry were listed as questionable but are active.