Ochocinco tweeted earlier this week that his father had died. The Patriots have not announced a reason for his being inactive.
In his first season with New England, Ochocinco played in 15 regular-season games, missing a Week 11 win at Philadelphia. He started three times and had 15 catches with one touchdown in 2011.
Also inactive is rookie RB Stevan Ridley, who was active for every game. Ridley, who rushed for 441 yards this season, fumbled against Denver in the divisional round.