FOXBORO -- The Patriots have designated three linebackers as well as safety Patrick Chung and running back Kevin Faulk inactive for their Monday night game against the Chiefs.

Brandon Spikes (knee), Dane Fletcher (thumb) and Jeff Tarpinian (illness) all missed practice time this week with various ailments and will not play. Devin McCourty returned to practice on Saturday after injuring his right shoulder in the second quarter last week against the Jets. He is inactive. 

FOXBORO -- Matt Cassel will not get a chance at a comeback this season as he is headed to injured reserve, according to an ESPN report

FOXBORO -- Safety Ross Ventrone is on the move again, this time to the Patriots active squad as the team signed him from the practice squad in the hours before Monday night's game with the Chiefs. To make room, the team released offensive lineman Donald Thomas.

This is the 16th transaction this season for the 25-year-old Ventrone, who has spent time on both the practice squad and 53-man roster this season, playing in five games.

CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday ahead of the Patriots' Monday night matchup against the Chiefs. On paper, the Patriots have a strong advantage over the Chiefs, especially since Kansas City starting quarterback Matt Cassel will not play after requiring surgery to repair an injury to his right hand.

Scott Pioli has won the George Young NFL Executive of the Year Award twice (he's been named Exec of the Year three times by the Pro Football Writers of America). In 2009, ESPN put together its All-Decade Team.



KIRK MINIHANE

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According to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, Rex Ryan is expected to be fined between $75,000 and $100,000 for yelling a profanity at a fan while heading into the tunnel at halftime of last Sunday's Jets-Patriots game at MetLife Stadium.

The Patriots have ruled linebacker Dane Fletcher (thumb) and Brandon Spikes (knee) for Monday's game against the Chiefs, while cornerback Devin McCourty (shoulder) is doubtful for the game. Linebacker Jeff Tarpinian (illness) was not spotted at the start of practice, but was listed by the team as having "limited participation" at Saturday's session and is questionable for Monday's game. Here's the complete injury report:

Out
LB Dane Fletcher (Did Not Practice -- thumb)
LB Brandon Spikes (Did Not Practice -- knee)

Here are 10 matchups we’ll be looking for in Monday night’s Patriots-Chiefs game at Gillette Stadium:

WHEN THE PATRIOTS HAVE THE BALL



FOXBORO -- After reportedly separating his right shoulder in Sunday night's win over the Jets and missing the first three days of practice this week, cornerback Devin McCourty returned to Patriots practice on Saturday morning inside Gillette Stadium. 

FOXBORO -- I had one simple question for Bill Belichick on Wednesday.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

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