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Report: Jerome Boger will work as referee for Browns-Patriots

12.05.13 at 10:35 pm ET
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Jerome Boger will work as the referee for Sunday’€™s Browns-Patriots game, according to our pals at

This will mark Boger’s second New England game of the 2013 season — he was the lead official for the Oct. 13 game between the Patriots and Jets at MetLife Stadium in North Jersey. That game will be remember for a disputed ending, one where Boger and his crew flagged New England defensive lineman Chris Jones for a little-used penalty — unsportsmanlike conduct — when, according to Boger, he apparently pushed a teammate into the formation on a late field-goal attempt by the Jets. The field goal was off the mark, but the penalty gave New York another chance, and the Jets converted later in the extra session.

Here’€™s a look at each lead official assigned to work Patriots games to this point in the 2013 season:

Sept. 9 vs. Buffalo: Walt Anderson
Sept. 12 vs. NY Jets: Carl Cheffers
Sept. 22 vs. Tampa Bay: Jeff Triplette
Sept. 29 vs. Atlanta: Walt Coleman
Oct. 6 vs. Cincinnati: Gene Steratore
Oct. 13 vs. New Orleans: Tony Corrente
Oct. 20 vs. NY Jets: Jerome Boger
Oct. 27 vs. Miami: Walt Anderson
Nov. 3 vs. Pittsburgh: Walt Coleman
Nov. 18 vs. Carolina: Clete Blakeman
Nov. 24 vs. Denver: Gene Steratore
Dec. 8 vs. Cleveland: Jerome Boger

For the complete list of this week’€™s officiating assignments, check out Football Zebras. And for a complete breakdown of Boger’s work as a referee, take a look at his page at Pro Football Reference.

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Josh Gordon on facing Aqib Talib: I’m definitely going to make more plays

12.05.13 at 9:12 pm ET
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Josh Gordon said that when it comes to facing Aqib Talib this week, he’s going to come out on top in the battle with the Patriots cornerback.

“I’€™m pretty sure he’€™ll make some plays, but I’€™m definitely going to make more plays,” Gordon told reporters who asked about Talib, who is expected to match up with the Cleveland receiver this Sunday when the Browns face the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.

“NFL cornerback is a hard position to play, and [Talib is] doing a great job right now for that defense,” added Gordon, who has 64 catches for 1,249 yards and seven touchdowns this season. “He’€™s a real physical, scrappy player. But I’€™m going to come out there and do the same, go out there and make plays myself and try to make sure that nobody can stop me.”

This is the second consecutive week Gordon has said he was going to do some damage to an opposing secondary. Last week, he told reporters he was going to exploit Jacksonville’s cornerbacks, and he ended up coming away with 261 receiving yards against the Jags.

Regardless of who he’ll be facing, Gordon said Thursday he’s excited for his first crack at the Patriots.

‘€œ[I’m] definitely looking forward to that challenge,” he said. “I’€™ve never played this team. I hold this team in high regard for their past, their coaching staff and the guys they have on their team and what they’€™ve done. They might double team me they might not. If they do give me that look we’€™re prepared for it, for the double team, we’€™ve been practicing for it but if they don’€™t and they single me up we plan to exploit it.’€

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Brandon Spikes (knee) added to Patriots injury report

12.05.13 at 4:47 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The Patriots added linebacker Brandon Spikes to the Thursday injury report with a knee issue — he was limited — while wide receiver Aaron Dobson, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard were all missing from New England’s Thursday practice.

Spikes was actually absent from Wednesday’s practice with a non-injury issue. Meanwhile, Dobson (foot) and Cannon (ankle) are both working through injuries they suffered in the recent win over the Broncos. And Dennard was part of court proceedings in Nebraska — for more on that, check out our story here.

Dennard was also actually listed as limited because of a knee injury that has dogged him for the last couple of weeks. In addition, cornerbacks Aqib Talib (hip) and Kyle Arrington (groin) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm/hamstring) were also among those limited.

Here’s the complete report.

Did Not Practice
WR Aaron Dobson (foot)
RT Marcus Cannon (ankle)
CB Alfonzo Dennard (not injury related)

Limited Participation
CB Kyle Arrington (groin)
CB Marquice Cole (shin)
CB Alfonzo Dennard (knee)
S Steve Gregory (finger)
TE Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm/hamstring)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui (knee)
LB Brandon Spikes (knee)
OT Will Svitek (ankle)
CB Aqib Talib (hip)
WR Kenbrell Thompkins (hip)

Full Participation
WR Danny Amendola (groin)
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder)
WR Matthew Slater (wrist)
RB Shane Vereen (wrist)

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Alfonzo Dennard gets another year of probation, extra 30 days in jail, extra 100 hours community service

12.05.13 at 3:16 pm ET
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Alfonzo Dennard was given another year of probation, 30 extra days of jail time and an extra 100 hours of community service Thursday by a Nebraska judge for violating terms of his probation for assaulting a police officer outside of a Lincoln, Neb., bar in April 2012. Dennard, who will not have to serve jail time until after the season, was sentenced in March to two years of probation and a suspended 30-day jail sentence in March 2014.

On Sept.’€‰16, Dennard acknowledged violating the terms of his two-year probation. He faced a maximum of five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Dennard was arrested July 11 for suspicion of driving under the influence and straddling the lane lines in Lincoln. That led to the probation revocation hearing in which a judge accepted his responsibility of guilt. In a worst-case scenario, Dennard could have been immediately jailed after Thursday’s sentencing but that didn’t happen.

Judge Stephanie Stacy also added a no-alcohol provision to his sentence and added 30 days to his jail sentence, which begins on March 31. The total jail time is now 60 days, which could be reduced to 38 days with good behavior. The judge could have revoked Dennard’s probation as the prosecution was seeking but she chose instead to modify the terms of probation.

Dennard was not at Patriots practice on Thursday in order to attend Thursday’s hearing. Dennard is not completely out of the woods as a separate DUI sentencing is scheduled for Friday at the same time, also at Lancaster County Court.

However. Dennard’€™s lawyer, Alan Stoler, told the Boston Herald Wednesday that Dennard filed a request for a continuance to delay the DUI sentencing until after the NFL season.


Dennard has completed more than 65 hours of probation work since September and could finish the remainder of his 100 hours by the end of the season, even though he has two years to complete the terms.

According to the Herald, Dennard’€™s hours have included time working with the Foxboro Police Department, the Boys & Girls Club and some youth speaking engagements to raise awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Dennard is required to appear on Friday to formally enter a plea, and Stoler said Dennard is still undecided if he’€™ll plead guilty or not guilty.

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Shane Vereen on Stevan Ridley: ‘We’re there when he needs us’

12.05.13 at 2:47 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Shane Vereen has the back of teammate Stevan Ridley.

Both running backs came into the league in 2011. Both have battled issues at one point or another. Injuries limited Vereen to just five games in his rookie season of 2011 while a broken wrist in the season opener forced him to miss eight games this season.

But now it’s Ridley who is struggling to find the field. Ridley has lost all four of his fumbles this season and was benched for the game in Houston on Sunday. After Ridley declined to speak with reporters on Thursday, Vereen moments later came to his defense.

“Everybody goes through their ups and downs, and when you’re down, you need teammates, you need friends to help bring you back to where you should be and start playing with confidence again,” Vereen said. “Stevan is a great player. We’re there when he needs us. But he knows what he has to do and we fully expect him to do that.”

While Vereen is fourth in rushing yardage behind Ridley, LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden, he is the No. 1 receiver among the running backs corps with 28 catches for 220 yards and a touchdown.

“We’ve definitely got work to do, but we’ve put ourselves in a pretty good situation, but there’s room to improve,” Vereen said. “We need to improve if we want to continue playing.”

Ridley also said on Thursday that he feels good and the wrist injury is no longer an issue, despite still wearing a brace for games.

“I haven’t had any problems with it, haven’t had any issues with it,” Vereen said. “Really, there’s not too much thought about it at all.”

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Mike Petraglia, Chris Price preview Patriots-Browns Sunday at Gillette

12.05.13 at 2:30 pm ET
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Patriots practice Thursday: Brandon Spikes returns, Alfonzo Dennard, Aaron Dobson, Marcus Cannon absent

12.05.13 at 11:28 am ET
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FOXBORO — Linebacker Brandon Spikes returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday for what was likely a “maintenance” rest day.

The hard-hitting run-stopping linebacker was on Wednesday’s injury report for a “non-injury related” issue, though he has been dealing with a sore knee for several weeks, as indicated on previous injury reports.

Three other players were absent, including Alfonzo Dennard, who left the team to deal with a court appearance in Nebraska.

Two other Patriots were absent due to injury as rookie receiver Aaron Dobson continues to nurse a foot injury that forced him to miss Sunday’s game in Houston. Dobson played just 36 of 87 snaps against the Broncos on Nov. 24 before showing up on the injury report last week. The team re-signed Austin Collie Thursday morning for wide receiver depth.

Marcus Cannon injured his ankle against the Broncos in the first half against the Broncos and was replaced by Will Svitek for the remainder of the game. Cannon was not active last Sunday against Houston, marking the first game he has missed this season.

For the second straight day, the team worked out in sweats and shells on the lower practice fields and will practice again on Friday in preparation for the Browns this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Read More: Brandon Spikes, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, nfl
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