Saturday November 16, 2013 | 05:37 PM

The New England Patriots secondary will be somewhat weakened Monday night when they take on the surging Carolina Panthers.

Safety Steve Gregory (thumb) and CB Alfonzo Dennard (knee) have both been ruled out for the game, according to the Injury Report released Saturday.

Gregory, who suffered a broken thumb in the Nov. 3  win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, did not practice all week and is expected to be out a little longer. Dennard had limited practice participation on Thursday and Friday, but did not practice on Saturday.

Rookie Duron Harmon, who has played well recently, is likely to start in Gregory's spot.

The Patriots may get some help back in the secondary is CB Aqib Talib (hip) plays. Right now he, along with CB Kyle Arrington (groin) and RB Leon Washington (anke) are listed as questionable for the game, meaning they have a 50-50 chance of playing.

Talib did speak with the media earlier in the week, normally an indication that he is going to play.

Talib, who was having a marvelous season, has missed the last three games since he was injured against the Saints on Oct. 13.

WR Danny Amendola (groin), QB Tom Brady (right shoulder), TE Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm/hamstring) and WR Matthew Slater (wrist) are all probable, meaning there is a virtual certainty they will play.

Of those, only Gronkowski was limited in practice on Saturday.

No word yet on whether RB Shane Vereen will be activated for the game. He has been out since suffering a hand injury in the season opener in Buffalo and is eligible to be activated this week off the short-term IR.

About this Blog

Mike Lowe has covered the New England Patriots since 1999 for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and has had a nice view of their emergence as one of the NFL’s premier franchises.

He’s been at the paper since 1982 and has covered everything from a Little League World Series to the Summer Olympics. He is married to Tracie and they have three children and two grandchildren.

Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeLowePPH.

Previous entries

March 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

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