Alan Branch won't be playing in Thursday night's contest with the Bucs.

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, the Patriots defensive lineman didn't travel with the team to Tampa Bay which means he'll be inactive for Week 5. Branch wasn't listed on the team's injury report, so the call to leave him in New England appears to be solely a coach's decision.

Branch's role has drastically fallen off from a season ago and his playing time has dropped steadily after playing 61.8-percent of the team's defensive snaps in the opener against Kansas City. Since then, Branch earned just 9.2-percent in Week 2, 29.6-percent in Week 3 and then in Week 4 against the Panthers saw just 19-percent of the defensive action.

Now, it's shrunk down to nothing.

This is a far cry from 2016 where Branch was an anchor on the defensive line for the Patriots playing the most snaps out of any defensive tackle and the seventh most on the defense as a whole staying on the field 60.02-percent of the time.