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Patriots Friday injury report: Tom Brady (shoulder) returns to full participation, probable

10.25.13 at 4:29 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” There were a few eyebrows raised when Tom Brady (right shoulder) showed up on the Thursday injury report as limited.

That lasted for exactly one day as the quarterback returned to full participation Friday and is officially listed by the team as “probable” for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.

Brady is among six Patriots listed as probable while cornerback Aqib Talib (hip), (back/forearm) and wide receiver Danny Amendola (concussion/groin) were again listed as limited in Friday’s workout. Tight end Rob Gronkowski and special teams captain Matthew Slater were limited again but are officially probable after returning to action last week against the Jets.

In addition, defensive lineman Tommy Kelly (knee) and running back/returner Leon Washington missed all three days of practice for a third straight week and were ruled out.

Kelly did walk through the locker room Friday during media availability and – while putting a big black sleeve on his right knee – said, “I’m day-to-day and that’s all I can say right now until I get back on the field. That’s from the big guy [Bill Belichick].”

Here’s Friday’s full report:

Did Not Practice
DL Tommy Kelly (knee) OUT
RB/KR Leon Washington (ankle) OUT

Limited Participation
WR Danny Amendola (concussion/groin) QUESTIONABLE
RB Brandon Bolden (knee) QUESTIONABLE
OL Marcus Cannon (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
WR Julian Edelman (thigh) QUESTIONABLE
TE Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm) PROBABLE
TE Michael Hoomanawanui (knee) QUESTIONABLE
WR Matthew Slater (wrist) PROBABLE
CB Aqib Talib (hip) QUESTIONABLE
DB Tavon Wilson (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE

Full Participation
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder) PROBABLE
CB Kyle Arrington (groin) PROBABLE
CB Devin McCourty (shoulder) PROBABLE
DL Rob Ninkovich (groin) PROBABLE

Read More: Danny Amendola, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, nfl

Phil Simms talks Patriots-Dolphins

10.25.13 at 2:27 pm ET
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CBS will have Phil Simms and Jim Nantz work the Patriots-Dolphins game Sunday in Foxboro, and Simms weighed in on a couple of elements involving the contest earlier in the week.

On Rob Gronkowski‘€™s return: “It’€™s always good to have a good player, and especially a star, like Rob Gronkowski return. I was extremely surprised that he looked as good as he did, and to be that productive on his first game back after being out all that time and going through the surgeries. It shows you what a special player Gronkowski is. Once the other pieces start to fall in place, it is going to make Tom Brady‘€™s job easier. Gronkowski changes defenses. Now it’€™s up to everybody else to take advantage of the fact that he’€™s changed the defense.”

On Miami’€™s three-game skid: “In the NFL you win close games and you lose close games. It comes down to the last couple of minutes with who makes the plays to win. Most teams are in that boat. Miami is one of those teams. They have a lot of good players. But no matter how they play, it’€™s still going to come down to the last couple minutes just about every single week. So what side of the ball does it for you? Their offense could have run the clock out, but that’€™s a little unrealistic. The defense had a chance if they could have stopped Buffalo and not given them the field goal chance. They would have won. So, one side of your football team really has to dominate in those special situations. And those special situations in the NFL are the last two or three minutes.”

Read More: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Rob Gronkowski,

Danny Amendola: ‘I’m healthy and ready to play’

10.25.13 at 1:35 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Danny Amendola says he remembers everything from the late afternoon of Oct. 13 when he was drilled in the helmet by Rafael Bush of the Saints, suffering the second significant concussion of his NFL career.

The Patriots wide receiver missed last week’s game in New York against the Jets but had a declaration of sorts on Friday after practice.

“I’ve had a good week and I’m ready to go,” Amendola said after his third straight practice. “Feeling good and ready to go.”

What told him this week that he’s ready to play?

“Ready or not, I guess,” Amendola said. “The game’s coming. I feel as good as I can. Not really worried about the past, just worried about the future and excited and looking forward to Sunday.”

His first year with the Patriots has been a frustrating one, suffering a groin injury in preseason, aggravating it in the season opener, missing three games and then getting a concussion in the sixth week.

“Yeah, it’s frustrating,” he said. “They’ve got protocols with a bunch of head injuries. You just have to follow along. You might feel good and feel ready to go but the doctors might not let you go. I feel good now and I’m ready to go.

“I’ve done pretty much everything they’ve asked me to do and I’m healthy and ready to play.”

As for practice this week in preparation for the Dolphins, Amendola says he’s been able to handle everything.

“It’s been really good, guys flying around, playing a good team. We’re ready to go,” Amendola said.

The receiver has seen replays of the hit and him staggering off the field afterward. But he insisted Friday it’s not going to change the way he plays.

“I felt fine after the game. I had no symptoms and I felt normal,” he said. “It was just one of those things. I just listen to the doctors and go from there.

“Yeah, I’ve seen it. It’s just one of those things. I’ll be fine. It’s not going to scare me to play the way I play. I still have a job to do and I’m going to do it.”

Amendola is confident that his past concussion earlier in his career had no direct impact on this head injury.

“I’ve had one concussion in the NFL prior to this,” Amendola said. “It was a long time ago so there’s no aftermath of it. I don’t feel any symptoms or anything. I feel really good.

“I don’t think about it to be honest with you. If it happens, it happens really. I don’t look to go looking to run into things and get concussions. It’s a rough game and that’s why everyone loves to play it and watch it. But I feel good now and that’s all that matters to me. I think they put a warning on the back of the helmet that says you’re at risk. Play at your own [risk]. Well-instructed.

“Physical, mental, I’m sure it’s the same thing if you get into a car accident. It’s all independent doctors. The NFL does a great job of helping guys out with that sort of thing. It’s been a big deal in the past three years so you just have to go through the motions and listen to what they’re telling you.”

Read More: Danny Amendola, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, new orleans saints

Peter King on M&M: ‘Lot of concern around Miami about their offense’

10.25.13 at 1:30 pm ET
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Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Friday afternoon to talk about the Patriots’ matchup against the Dolphins on Sunday.

After a promising start, the Dolphins have lost three games in a row and head to Gillette Stadium with a 3-3 record.

“They’ve lost three in a row, and it isn’t just the fact they’ve lost, it’s the fact of how they’ve lost,” King said. “Especially because Ryan Tannehill, it’s been a tale of two seasons for him. If he doesn’t straighten out — there’s a lot of thought in Miami that he just isn’t right health-wise. He hasn’t looked like the quarterback in the last couple of weeks that he did early on.

“And they’ve been having some big protection issues. If you saw what Mario Williams did to him late in that game [when the Bills beat the Dolphins this past Sunday]. I think there’s a lot of concern around Miami about their offense.”

King expects the Dolphins to try to establish more of a ground game Sunday in Foxboro.

“They’re going to have to run it this week, because I just don’t see them being able to protect Tannehill,” King said. “You talk about what the Patriots are missing, but still, [the Dolphins] have not shown the ability in this season to block the best pass rushers. I think if you’re Rob Ninkovich, you’re looking at this team right now, if you’re Chandler Jones, you’re looking at this team and say, ‘Boy, people have been able to rush the passer.’ Mario Williams [had] two huge plays in the last seven minutes of the game last week.

“So, to me, I sort of look at them right now and say this is — it’s hard to say ‘must game’ or anything like that — but they’ve got to come out of this offensive funk and play better on offense.”

Looking at league news, King said there’s not much to the report that the Rams expressed interest in Brett Favre, who has been out of the league for two-plus seasons.

“Favre, I can tell you this, since the start of the 2012 season he’s had less than zero interest,” King said. “The biggest reason is he just doesn’t want to get hit anymore. Everybody knows he can still throw it better than a lot of these guys, and I’m sure he could put a game or two together. But I just think it would be a big mistake for anybody to come after him, unless it was an offense he already knew, a quarterback coach he already knew, and they had a chance to contend. But he’s not going to come back anyway. I don’t think it would matter if the 49ers or Seahawks called him.”

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Brett Favre, Mario Williams, Peter King, Ryan Tannehill

Despite injuries, needs, Bill Belichick isn’t expecting much at the NFL trade deadline

10.25.13 at 11:57 am ET
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FOXBORO — Thanks to injuries on both sides of the ball, the Patriots certainly have needs heading into Tuesday’s 4 p.m. NFL trade deadline.

But listening to Bill Belichick Friday, it doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of movement in that direction. The Patriots have pulled the trigger in years past, both acquiring and trading away talent. In 2010, the team traded away Randy Moss to the Vikings for a 2011 third-round pick that was used to select Ryan Mallett.

Last year, with an obvious weakness in their secondary, Belichick contacted Tampa Bay about what it would take to acquire Aqib Talib, who was in the final year of his contract. On Nov. 1 last year, the price was a fourth-round pick and the Patriots had their cover corner.

“I can’€™t say that I’€™ve noticed any difference this year,” Belichick said. “I’€™d say there’€™s not a lot of it period, but it’€™s certainly way less, way, way less than what there is at the 53 cut, just to pick another period of time or maybe the week before, like at the 75 [roster] cut. There’€™s a lot more conversations there about the makeup of your team and who you need and who might be extra and those kind of things. You’€™re looking at a 16-week season at that point. Now you’€™re looking at a much shorter window.

“I’€™d say every team in the league is dealing with some type of personnel issues so where you have extra depth is probably less than what it was in September and your needs based on whatever players you’€™ve lost are probably greater than they were in September. Therefore, you need more, there’€™s less available, it’€™s a shorter season, you’€™re trading for a guy for just a short amount of time. How quickly can you get him ready, how productive will it be, was it really worth it? Is it worth it to the team who is trading away the player to get not very much for somebody versus just keeping him and playing with him even though you get something for him but it isn’€™t really worth it?”

This year, the Patriots are missing Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly and Jerod Mayo defensively and have been scrambling on offense with injuries to Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen. Wilfork and Mayo are done for the season and the Patriots have been filling in with rookies and free agents. Amendola and Vereen could be returning soon while Talib is getting closer to a return after his latest hip injury.

The question is, will Belichick and the Patriots look to make another trade or stay in-house? Belichick gave insight to his thinking and that of the organization when considering all the variables.

“You’€™d rather have him for those seven, eight games, whatever is left than some pick at the end of the draft that you might not think has a lot of value, especially if you’€™re worried about your depth at that position with the player that you’€™re moving,” Belichick explained. “Usually when you have that kind of depth, you see more of those trades I think in September when, A ‘€“ the value is higher and, B ‘€“ teams have more depth at that position so it’€™s easier for them to move the player because they have other guys at that point but two months later, they have less depth at that position and they’€™re less likely to move them. That’€™s just one man’€™s opinion; it’€™s not a survey of the league or anything. It’€™s hard to get a guy ready in a short amount of time. I don’€™t know much about baseball, but maybe a third baseman on this team, put him at third base on the other team and let him hit. How much is there involved? I’€™m sure there’€™s some but it’€™s not like playing left guard, having 20 different protections and two dozen running plays and a dozen different defenses you have to block every week. It’€™s a little more involved.”

There was some talk in late September and earlier this month that perhaps the trade activity had picked up from years past, highlighted by the Cleveland trade of Trent Richardson.

“I think that the trades that you’€™ve seen are kind of financially driven,” Belichick said. “I don’€™t know how much of it is personnel trading and how much of it is financial trading. However you want to look at it, for draft choices or for cap relief. But no, I don’€™t see a big, dramatic difference, no.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, nfl, NFL trade deadline

Fantasy Football: Week 8 starts, sits

10.25.13 at 11:26 am ET
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Welcome to the Week 8 starts and sits. This is one ugly week, especially if you play in a big league with a weak waiver wire. With all the byes and all the injuries, there are a lot of fantasy GMs looking for answers. This week is more about finding options than eliminating them. For this reason, you’€™ll see more starts than usual and fewer sits. I’€™ll also make an effort to get into the lesser-known options. If you need more lineup clarity, go to Rotobahn.com for full Week 8 lineup rankings. We’€™ve got you covered.

QUARTERBACKS

STARTS

Tom Brady, Patriots vs. Dolphins

I have to say that I am a bit surprised by all the Brady doubters out there. I am sure there are less of them in the Boston area, but there’€™s more anti-Brady buzz then I have ever heard, and it might be time to use it to your benefit. I’€™ve made deals for Brady in two leagues this week. In both deals, the owner of the team trading with me thought they were getting a QB upgrade. I gave up Matt Stafford in one deal and Tony Romo in the other. In the Romo deal, I got back Eddie Lacy in addition to Brady, and all I had to throw back was Fred Jackson. I think I’€™ll end up winning both sides of that deal. In the Stafford deal, I got Matt Forte in addition to Brady, and I threw the guy T.Y. Hilton. I feel even better about that deal. The point is, in typical leagues, you might be able to get Brady below his true value. I expect him to post better numbers over the second half, and I am willing to gamble on it and buy low right now. I also like Brady a lot as a starter this week. He’€™s a QB1 in any league size.

Michael Vick, Eagles vs. Giants

He has some risk because of the re-injury factor. Hamstring recoveries always carry that risk. Still, this is a very nice home matchup, and it’€™s a big game for the Eagles and for Vick, who wants to re-stake his claim to the starter’€™s job. He’€™ll do what it takes to get the job done, and he’€™ll make some big plays to DeSean Jackson. He’€™s a QB1 in 12-team leagues.

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins at Patriots

Beggars can’€™t be too choosy this week, and though he may not be sexy, Tannehill will keep your team in the game. They let him throw the ball a lot, and we project them to be chasing the Patriots on the scoreboard, which means they should be throwing all game. Tannehill may not have a stellar day, but he should get you decent fantasy numbers.

Carson Palmer, Cardinals vs. Falcons

He’€™s had a tough time this year, but it’€™s not all his fault. The Cardinals have serious issues on the offensive line, and it probably will be some time in 2014 before coach Bruce Arians gets this offense where he really wants it to be. That said, Palmer has a solid matchup this week against an Atlanta defense that has been fantasy-friendly so far in 2013. He can help you if you are in a jam.

Alex Smith, Chiefs vs. Browns

Smith lacks upside this week and on most weeks. However, he does provide a nice floor, because the Chiefs offense has been consistent and he gets enough balls to the backs and with his feet to cobble together decent fantasy output. He can help you this week if you need a QB. He’€™s nothing sexy and a big game is unlikely, but he’€™ll be solid.

Terrelle Pryor, Raiders vs. Steelers

He lacks his typical upside, because the Steelers are disciplined on defense and cut down on big plays. That being said, Pryor is dynamic and he makes things happen one way or the other. He won’€™t run all over the Steelers like he might on some teams, and his receivers will have trouble getting behind the defense, but they will make their share of plays. Pryor is a viable option in 12-team leagues.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Alex Smith, Carson Palmer, Fred Jackson, Geno Smith

Patriots practice Friday: Tommy Kelly (knee), Leon Washington (ankle) missing again

10.25.13 at 10:59 am ET
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FOXBORO — The only two players not spotted Friday at sweats and shells practice were running back Leon Washington (ankle) and defensive lineman Tommy Kelly (knee). Washington and Kelly were both injured on Oct. 6 in Cincinnati and have missed the last two games.

After being listed as limited on Thursday’s practice report with a shoulder issue, Tom Brady was in attendance and took part in all stretching and warmup drills, the only portion of practice that was open to the media.

Bill Belichick was asked Friday whether he injured the shoulder in practice or was it more of a maintenance issue.

“We’€™ll list our injuries at the end of every day, just like we always do,” Belichick said.

Was there any reason why Brady popped up Thursday versus not being there on Wednesday?

“Yeah, that’€™s why we list them and that’€™s all I’€™m going to say about it,” Belichick replied.

Danny Amendola returned to practice Wednesday and was again present Friday on the grass fields outside Gillette Stadium for the first time since sustaining a concussion on Oct. 13 against the Saints.

He suffered a viscous hit to the helmet from New Orleans safety Rafael Bush in the second half and missed all of last week, including the game against the Jets.

Also in attendance for a fourth straight practice was Aqib Talib, as he tries to make his way back from a hip injury against the Saints.

Both Amendola and Talib practiced all week and could return Sunday against the Dolphins while it’s nearly certain that both Washington and Kelly will miss their third straight games, respectively.

Running back Brandon Bolden (knee) again spent time on an exercise bike during positional drills at the start of practice.

Read More: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, nfl,

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