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Ravens Thursday injury report

10.14.10 at 5:09 pm ET
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The 4-1 Baltimore Ravens returned five players to practice on Thursday, including RB Ray Rice and NT Haloti Ngata. All five were still limited by various ailments as they prepare for Sunday’s showdown with the 3-1 Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Three players have already been ruled out of Sunday’s game.

Ravens Injury Report for Thursday:

T Jared Gaither (back)
LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder)
WR Donte Stallworth (foot)

Limited Participation
LB Paul Kruger (knee)
S Ken Hamlin (ankle)
TE Edgar Jones (thigh)
RB Le’Ron McClain (shoulder/knee)
DT Haloti Ngata (knee)
RB Ray Rice (knee)
CB Josh Wilson (thigh)

Read More: Baltimore Ravens, Haloti Ngata, New England Patriots, NFL Injury report

Branch: I reworked my deal to be ‘around champions’

10.14.10 at 4:48 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch said Thursday that he renegotiated his deal so he could ‘€œbe around champions.’€

Speaking at an impromptu Q&A at his locker with reporters, Branch talked about his reported decision to reduce his base salary to $2.2 million for 2011, the final year of a six-year, $39 million contract he signed with Seattle in 2006. The original contract would have given Branch just under $6 million in base salary for the 2011 season. With his new deal, incentives could bring Branch’€™s salary to $4 million.

‘€œI think it was just more so something that I was dealing with. It’€™s nothing bad at all,’€ Branch said. ‘€œI just always wanted to be around champions. It’€™s always good to have that feeling and to know what you’€™re surrounded with.

‘€œI think both parties agreed on something and we worked it out,’€ Branch added. ‘€œYou got to know what you’€™re doing before, and I know my purpose and why I did it, you know, and that’€™s the most important thing.’€

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Sanders joins Taylor on Pats injury list

10.14.10 at 4:21 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Safety James Sanders joined running back Fred Taylor on the Patriots’ injury report on Thursday as he was limited with a hamstring injury. Taylor was again the only player to miss Patriots practice with a toe injury. The team continued its preparations for the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday at Gillette Stadium with a longer-than-usual practice in shells and shorts on the upper practice fields outside Gillette.

Patriots Injury Report for Thursday:

Did Not Practice

RB Fred Taylor (toe)

Limited Participation

S James Sanders (hamstring)

Full Participation

QB Tom Brady (right shoulder)

CB Terrence Wheatley (foot)

Read More: Baltimore Ravens, Fred Taylor, James Sanders, New England Patriots

Brady speaks with SIRIUS XM on Branch, Moss and the labor situation

10.14.10 at 1:13 pm ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady went on SIRIUS XM’s Mad Dog Radio Wednesday morning and talked about the addition of Deion Branch, the trade of Randy Moss and the possibility of playing an 18-game season.

On the departure of Randy Moss:
Host/Gary Williams: ‘€œHow can you be a better football team without [Randy Moss]?’€

Tom Brady: ‘€œWell, I think that just remains to be seen. I mean, I don’€™t think you take away great players and think all of a sudden that your team’€™s going to be better. I think there are things that are going to be different and we’€™re going to have to find maybe some different ways, guys’€™ll have different opportunities and I think all the guys we have on the roster are looking forward for those opportunities. It’€™s really been the nature of what I’€™ve really witnessed in this era of football with free agency and the salary cap and so much player movement. You think every year, ‘€˜Man, how are we going to be better? We lost this guy or we lost this guy.’€™ Ultimately you’€™ve got to go out there and perform and the guys that are out there on the field have to take advantage of those chances that they get. We’€™ve got 12 football games [left] in the regular season, none of them are bigger than the one we’€™ve got this week and hopefully we go out there and put together a great game. And I think all the guys are excited about that chance.’€
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Read More: Tom Brady,

Billick on D&C: ‘Wouldn’t bet against Ravens’

10.14.10 at 12:45 pm ET
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Former Ravens head coach and current and NFL Network correspondent Brian Billick joined Dennis & Callahan this morning to discuss varying topics around the NFL, focusing largely on the Patriots and Ravens upcoming matchup, as well as the Randy Moss trade and how it shakes up the Patriot offense.

“I guarantee Tom Brady and Wes Welker‘s life just got a lot more difficult because they don’t have that vertical stretch,” Billick said.  “Doesn’t mean that they can’t get it, that they can’t manufacture it, that they won’t have many other ways to move the ball.”

To hear the entire interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

If you were still coaching the Ravens, which is a bigger disadvantage for you: The Patriots coming off of a bye week? The Patriot offense evolving without Randy Moss, something no one has seen before? Or you have their undivided attention after the beat down in the playoffs last year?

Oh boy, choice D – all of the above. Yeah, you worry about the bye week in terms of obviously Bill Belichick, Tom Brady adapting themselves. The Ravens obviously a tall task for them. I’m going to be very interested in seeing the approach they take without a Randy Moss, you know. And, you know, that’s been done add him for an item in terms of good thing, bad thing; should they have gotten rid of him or not? Sitting with all those draft choices will look awful good in April, but right now to not have the vertical stretch that they had with a Randy Moss, Wes Welker’s life just got a whole lot more difficult.

Going back to the bye week, is the thing you want most as a head coach more time to prepare for an opponent? Taking the 10 to 12 days to prepare instead of the usual three to four?

Well you got to be careful how you use the bye week, because you can do too much. You’d like for it to be a little bit later, but it is when it is and you’ve got to get healthy. But a game plan can get stale; I’ve always believed that you’ve got to careful about how you want to introduce the next game plan. I mean the inclination is, ‘Hey, let’s put it in the week before. Let’s really double up and practice,’ kind of like you do for a Super Bowl. But that can be too much during the course of a season. You might steal an extra day, but you don’t want to do a whole lot, particularly with the players, beyond that.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Brian Billick, Randy Moss, Ray Lewis

Taylor misses another Pats practice

10.14.10 at 12:30 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Running back Fred Taylor was once again not at the open portion of Patriots practice on Thursday as the team continues to prepare for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

Taylor has not practiced the last several weeks since injuring his toe in the team’s last home game – against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 26. The team practiced in shorts and shells on the upper practice fields outside Gillette.

Every other Patriots player was present and accounted for at the media portion of practice.

Read More: Baltimore Ravens, Fred Taylor, New England Patriots, NFL practice report

Mort: Mankins will report by Nov. 16

10.13.10 at 11:42 pm ET
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Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins will report by Nov. 16, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. Mankins, a restricted free agent who has been sitting out since the start of spring practices because he’s upset about his contract situation, will report on recommendation from the National Football League Players Association, according to several sources. Mortensen says Mankins will report to the Patriots to earn an accrued season and secure unrestricted free agency in 2011.

Read More: Logan Mankins,
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