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Patriots Blog: Who’s Out Against Bucs?

By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV
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Wes Welker (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Wes Welker (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Levan Reid Levan Reid
Levan Reid is a veteran sports reporter who has joined the W...
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BOSTON (CBS) — Tonight is the Patriots’ all-important third preseason game, and here’s who is not expected to play.

No Sebastian Vollmer. The offensive tackle just got off the PUP list earlier this week and he only has a couple of practices under his belt. I don’t think the Pats are going to run him out there too fast. His back problem could be a huge issue for the offensive line. The Patriots will make sure he’s healthy and has gone through more physical practices before they send him out there.

No Patrick Chung, no Wes Welker and no Jabar Gafney. All of them have missed practice this week and I don’t expect them to dress and get out there on the field. Julian Edelman will get a chance to fill in for Welker, and it will be good to see his progress. Donte’ Stallworth may also get a chance to make a move up the roster.

No Visanthe Shiancoe. That’s not a surprise, I think he could be headed for the injured reserve but there may be a chance to get a look at Daniel Fells. The tight end came off the PUP list earlier this week but unlike Vollmer, I actually think he’s going to play.

I am sure there will be other players sitting this one out but those are a few.

Wilfork Happy With Defense

A work in progress is how every player on the defense has described the work in camp. Well, after 20-plus practices, Vince Wilfork says he likes the direction the defense is headed. He believes that in tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, what the team has been working on will show up on the field.

“I’m happy with where we’re at, but we can get better. We definitely can get better,” Wilfork said. “That’s what we strive for every week: to get better. But it’s starting to come together, guys are starting to understand how we need to rush. Now that we’re way deep into camp, we should have a good, good idea of what we have, the moves that we like, some things we don’t like, what we need to work on and what we’re pretty good at. So we should have a good sense of where we’re at with that, but I’m pretty happy with where we’re at.”

Wilfork says the joint practices against Tampa were just what the team needed and they improved every day.

Read: Levan Reid’s Patriots Blog

“I think coming down here and practicing in the weather and against a pretty physical football team is going to better us down the road. I think we got a lot of stuff done that we wanted to get done,” he continued. “It wasn’t perfect, but I think we got some good work in and going into the game, I feel very confident and the team feels very confident going in. And that’s all we look for. Health is everything and going in and being able to practice at a high level and then play at a high level and come out healthy, that’s our goal.”

Now they just have to take what they have been doing on the practice field and bring it to the game.

Follow Levan Reid on CBSBostonsports.com and on Twitter @LevanReid all Patriots’ season long!

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