Three New England Patriots players originally listed as questionable have been downgraded and won't play in Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.
The team announced Saturday that wide receiver Deion Branch (groin), linebacker Brandon Spikes (knee) and running back Shane Vereen (hamstring) have been ruled out. The Patriots also ruled out two others -- safety Patrick Chung (foot) and offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back/foot) -- who were originally listed as doubtful.
Branch, who has 48 catches for 665 yards and four touchdowns, is missing his first game of the season. Spikes will be sidelined for his sixth straight game.
Chung will also miss his sixth consecutive game, while Vollmer will sit his third straight and eighth overall this season.