|11.14.13 at 8:51 pm ET|
Clete Blakeman is set to work as the referee for Monday’s game between the Patriots and Panthers, according to our pals at Football Zebras.
Blakeman is a former college quarterback who starred at Nebraska from 1983 through 1987 and became a college official before moving on to the NFL in 2008. This will mark his first Patriots game of 2013 — his last game involving New England was a 24-23 loss to the Seahawks in Seattle on Oct. 14, 2012. Prior to that, Blakeman worked two Patriots’ games the last three-plus seasons: he led the crew of officials as the referee in the Cleveland-New England game on Nov. 10, 2010, a surprise 34-14 win for the Browns, and was the referee in Foxboro on Nov. 21, 2011 for a 34-3 Patriots’ win over the Chiefs.
|11.14.13 at 7:56 pm ET|
Shortly after he signed with the Jets Thursday, veteran safety Ed Reed acknowledged he heard from the Patriots and Dolphins during his brief stint as a free agent.
“I don’t think either one of them wanted me in their conference,’ Reed told reporters.
Reed, who was released by the Texans on Tuesday, passed through waivers without being claimed on Wednesday and hit the open market that evening. In a 24-hour span, Reed said he heard from both New England and Miami, but decided on the Jets in part because of his familiarity with coach Rex Ryan. Ryan was the defensive coordinator in Baltimore during a portion of Reed’s time with the Ravens (2005-2008).
Ryan said Thursday there was no sentimental feeling when it came to the possibility of reuniting with the 35-year-old Reed.
‘This had nothing to do with sentiment. We believe it will be a great signing for us and he’s going to help this football team,’ Ryan said.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|11.14.13 at 7:39 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Veteran safety Steve Gregory was the only absence, while six players — including tight end Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm/hamstring) and cornerback Aqib Talib (hip) — were among those listed as limited in the wake of the padded practice the team held Thursday.
Talib has been sidelined since Week 6, but there is reason for optimism around his situation, as he spoke with reporters in the locker room after practice and sounded a positive note on his condition, calling himself “day-to-day.”
“He’s continued to progress,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said when asked about Talib’s status. “We’ll keep doing, as [he] can tolerate it, do more and evaluate how they do at a little bit higher level. Then if that goes well, then ramp it up and see where we are as we go through the week.”
Here’s the complete report
Did Not Participate
S Steve Gregory (finger)
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|11.14.13 at 1:27 pm ET|
|11.14.13 at 12:22 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots returned to the practice field in full pads on a chilly Thursday morning outside Gillette Stadium as they continue preparations for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers Monday night in Charlotte.
The only player not spotted on the lower grass field was safety Steve Gregory, who injured his thumb against the Steelers on Nov. 3.
Running back Shane Vereen was again on the field Thursday as the Patriots test his readiness to return from a broken wrist suffered in the season opener against the Bills on Sept. 8.
“It’s good to have him back on the field,” coach Bill Belichick said Thursday before practice. “This will really be an opportunity for us to evaluate this week kind of where he is, give him some harder assignments and see how he’s doing. He’s been able to be active and participate but I’d say it will be a higher level competition for him this week on the practice field. As it should be, gradually escalate the intensity of it and see how it goes.”
The Patriots will practice again on Friday and Saturday before leaving Sunday for Charlotte and Monday’s game against the Panthers.
|11.14.13 at 11:36 am ET|
There had been conflicting reports about the level of interest from the Patriots, with ESPN’s Chris Mortensen tweeting Thursday morning that New England was not an option.
Bill Belichick has long been an admirer of the longtime Ravens standout. Reed signed a three-year deal with the Texans this past offseason but was released this week after losing playing time and criticizing his coaches.
Jets coach Rex Ryan has familiarity with Reed, having coached him when Ryan served as Baltimore’s defensive coordinator in the 2000s.
Ryan on Wednesday discussed Reed in his press conference and said “absolutely, yes,” he would like to see Reed on his team.
|11.14.13 at 10:41 am ET|
FOXBORO — When the Texans released Ed Reed on Tuesday, one of Bill Belichick‘s favorite players of all-time became available. The question is, with Reed 35 years old and coming off hip surgery, should the Patriots take a chance that he can still play at a high level?
The Patriots reportedly are interested, along with the Jets, who are coached by Rex Ryan, Reed’s former defensive coordinator with the Ravens. Late Thursday morning, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that, per league sources, the Jets and Reed were on the verge of an agreement.
The Patriots had natural interest in Reed when he became a free agent after winning Super Bowl XLVII with Baltimore in February. But the price tag became too high when he signed a three-year contract in March with the Texans worth $15 million, including $5 million guaranteed. Then, later in the 2013 offseason, Reed underwent arthroscopic surgery on his hip to repair a small labral tear.
Reed made his Texans debut on Sept. 22 against the Ravens in Baltimore. As the season progressed, Reed saw his playing time reduced. He eventually lost his starting job to Shiloh Keo during Week 9 against the Colts.
Reed was released Tuesday after just 16 tackles, no interceptions, no forced fumbles and no passes defended in seven games. Reed also made critical comments he made regarding coaching decisions, suggesting the Texans were outcoached in Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals.
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