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DeVante Parker inactive for Patriots for Thursday Night Football vs. Steelers

Patriots' offense thinks they're close to getting rolling
Patriots' offense thinks they're close to getting rolling 00:56

BOSTON -- DeVante Parker is inactive for Thursday night's Patriots-Steelers game, leaving New England without three receivers for the matchup.

Parker was questionable heading into the game after dealing with a knee injury throughout the short week, but will now miss his third game of the season. He was New England's leading receiver in last week's shutout loss to the Chargers with 64 yards, but caught just four of the nine passes that went his way.

For the season, Parker has just 22 receptions off 39 targets for 264 yards and zero touchdowns.

Demario Douglas (concussion) and Kayshon Boutte (shoulder) were ruled out on Wednesday, so quarterback Bailey Zappe will only have JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyquan Thornton, Jalen Reagor, and Malik Cunningham at receiver on Thursday night. Cunningham was also warming up at quarterback ahead of the game.

The Patriots' backfield will also be shorthanded in Pittsburgh. Rhamondre Stevenson was already ruled out with an ankle injury that he suffered last Sunday, and Jamycal Hasty (who has yet to play a down for New England since signing with the team in November) was among the inactives announced ahead of Thursday night's game. 

That leaves Ezekiel Elliott, Ty Montgomery, and Kevin Harris -- who was elevated from the practice squad Thursday -- as New England's running backs against the Steelers. Elliott should get plenty of looks Thursday night, after the Steelers allowed 150 rushing yards in a loss to the Cardinals in Week 13.

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