Broncos TE Thomas (knee) out vs. Patriots

Updated: November 24, 2013, 7:33 PM ET

Jeff Legwold |

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas will not play in Sunday night’s showdown against the New England Patriots.

The Broncos waited until he arrived at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night to make a decision on Thomas, who suffered a right knee injury in last week’s win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Thomas had participated in Friday’s practice on a limited basis, and the Broncos needed to see some improvement for him to have played against New England. Thomas did improve some, but once the Broncos arrived at the stadium, they made the decision to make him a game-day inactive.

Joel Dreessen is expected to take many of the snaps Thomas usually has in Denver’s offense, but Jacob Tamme and Virgil Green are expected to play as well.

Thomas is fourth on the team in receptions with 45, but leads the team in touchdowns with 10.

Cornerbacks Alfonzo Dennard and Aqib Talib were both active for the Patriots, which was the most notable news from the team’s list of inactive players.

Steve Gregory, the Patriots’ starting safety and primary communicator, will miss his second straight game. He had returned to practice this week but it wasn’t enough for him to clear the hurdle of being active.

Linebacker Brandon Spikes — who was downgraded to questionable earlier Sunday (knee) — is active for New England.

Information from ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss was used in this report.

  • Covered Broncos for nine years for Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
  • Previously covered Steelers, Bills and Titans
  • Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Board
    of Selectors since 1999

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