|01.11.17 at 4:28 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It appears LeGarrette Blount’s absence at practice is not a big issue.
Blount missed practice on Wednesday due to an illness. He was the only player to miss practice — the second of the week.
Malcolm Mitchell was limited with a knee injury after missing the regular-season finale against the Dolphins.
The team had four players practicing in full, including Tom Brady (thigh) and Danny Amendola (ankle).
Amendola practicing in full is a good sign as he hasn’t played in a game since Dec. 4. It’s also worth noting Dont’a Hightower and Martellus Bennett were removed. Bennett had been on it since Week 5.
Here is the full practice report.
DID NOT PRACTICE
RB LeGarrette Blount (illness)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
QB Tom Brady (thigh)
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
CB Cyrus Jones (knee)
WR Matthew Slater (foot)
|01.11.17 at 3:44 pm ET|
FOXBORO — There is a new rival in the AFC East.
After firing Rex Ryan with one left in the regular season, it appears the Bills have found their next coach.
According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Sean McDermott has agreed to be the next head coach of the Bills.
For McDermott, it will be his first head coaching gig, which comes after being the Panthers defensive coordinator since 2011. He led them to the Super Bowl last year. Prior to Carolina, he spent his entire career with the Eagles and rose through the ranks to eventually be their defensive coordinator in 2009-10.
It will be a tough task for McDermott as the Bills haven’t made the playoffs since 1999.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|01.11.17 at 3:21 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Defensive lineman Alan Branch, who missed last Thursday’s practice, as well as Tuesday’s practice, said Wednesday he was ready to go.
The veteran, who played in all 16 regular-season games, was spotted at the start of Wednesday’s session at Gillette Stadium.
“I feel good. I feel ready to go,” Branch said. “I can’t wait for this weekend to play ball.”
Branch was part of a defense that managed to shutout the Texans back in Week Three by a 27-0 count. Branch was asked what sort of challenges Houston presents now as opposed to the team New England faced earlier in the year.
“I think they have the same challenges; we just played a pretty good game,” said Branch of that September showdown. “But they have the same challenges. They can run the ball consistently. [Lamar] Miller is a great running back. [Brock] Osweiler he has a big arm and he makes good decisions. We just have to go out there and be on our p’s and q’s and be in our gaps and have good communication and be where we’re supposed to be.”
For More Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|01.11.17 at 3:12 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Michael Floyd has been a member of the Patriots for roughly a month.
The receiver, who was claimed by the Patriots on Dec. 15 after being released by the Cardinals post a DUI arrest, feels New England is a good place for him.
“I like it,” Floyd said. “It’s kind of the place for me. Not too many things to do around here. Actually, I like the culture that the team brings and the chemistry with the guys.”
Added Floyd: “I think it’s just a different attitude here. I different feeling. Being the new guy coming in, I think you have to be up on everything, on your toes, making sure that whatever they throw at you, you’re right on top of it and you’re focused and you’re ready for whenever your time is called.”
Living in the Foxboro area is likely a much different situation than he had in Arizona. Floyd was asked about being a young player in the league with having a lot of money along with some celebrity status, and if that could be considered a bad thing.
“I kind of act like I am broke,” Floyd said. “That’s how I am. Yeah, there’s obviously different things that you can do. Where I am staying right now, it’s kind of a place for me. I can really actually just focus in on football and I can get to work in less than three minutes. I really like it.”
Despite playing in only two games, Floyd feels welcomed by his teammates.
“I feel good here,” he said. “I feel welcome and I think that’s the guys here, the culture and how this organization is. They brought me in here and I felt very comfortable and I’ve been here for quite some time. That is always a good feeling for a new guy coming in when you get that feeling from the team.”
Floyd’s biggest play as a Patriot was his huge block against the Dolphins when he was able to spring Julian Edelman for a 79-yard touchdown.
“It was a 80-yard touchdown or something like that, right?” he said. “That was basically like me scoring. I sprung open Jules and he did the rest.”
Unlike some other Patriots players, Floyd actually has some postseason experience from his time in Arizona. He is looking forward to helping the team in any way that he can.
“It’s just going out there and making plays,” he said. “I know what I can do and what my ability is. When my time is called, I’ll be there to make a play. You just have to go out there and make it do the best of your ability to get the job done.”
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|01.11.17 at 12:58 pm ET|
FOXBORO — There was one significant member of the Patriots missing from practice on Wednesday.
Running back LeGarrette Blount was the only player absent from the session held on the lower field behind Gillette Stadium in unseasonably warm weather for January.
It’s unclear why he was missing since he hasn’t missed a practice all year.
Defensive tackle Alan Branch returned after missing last Thursday and Tuesday’s session. This is a good sign for his availability on Saturday.
The Patriots will practice one more time on Thursday before Saturday night’s game. The first injury report of the week will be released later in the afternoon.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|01.11.17 at 11:15 am ET|
On Tuesday, Tom Brady posted a video to Facebook encouraging “The Rock” to wear his new Under Armour sleepwear. (“The Rock” is also represented by Under Armour.)
It doesn’t appear he liked the sales attempt, as “The Rock” responded with his own video.
“Sweet tap-dancing baby Jesus, what in the [expletive] did we just watch?” he said. “Thomas, what was that? I mean, you’re sitting there. You’re sitting there on some rocks, which I guess is supposed to be profound because my name is The Rock, and your leg’s open like Kermit the Frog, like you’re getting ready to sing ‘Rainbow Connection’ for Christ’s sake, what are you doing?”
“It’s OK,” he added. “I’m just judging, I’m just saying, Thomas did you really — I mean, who the [expletive] directed that, a Jets fan?”
|01.10.17 at 5:03 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Danny Amendola hasn’t played a game since Dec. 4 against the Rams when he sprained his ankle returning a punt in the second half.
The receiver missed the final month of the year, but returned to practice last week and has practiced each of the last three practices.
Amendola spoke for the first time since the injury Tuesday afternoon in the Patriots locker room, noting he hasn’t experienced any setbacks.
“I feel good,” he said. “I feel good today. Getting ready for tomorrow. I have had no setbacks.”
Added Amendola: “I feel good. Running around good and taking it day-by-day.”
After not being seen at Gillette Stadium for virtually the entire month of December and being seen in a walking boot walking around town, he was back at the facility the final week of the season, which was a sign progress was being made.
“Honestly, the only thing I have been focusing on in the last four, five weeks is getting as healthy as possible, to feel as good as I can and be available for whatever the coach needs me to do,” Amendola said.
He admitted it was hard missing as much time as he did.
“Any time you miss time, mentally it’s draining,” Amendola said. “It’s frustrating. You try and get back as soon as you can. I love playing football. It’s what I am here to do. That is what I am working for.”
Amendola finished the regular season with 23 catches for 243 yards and four touchdowns.
The next biggest question is will he be on the field Saturday night against the Texans?
“Whatever coach wants me to do,” he said.
Judging by the way he’s progressed over the last few weeks and being on the practice field leading into the postseason, it would appear Amendola will be returning for the games that matter most, starting on Saturday night.
“The playoff is what you play for,” he said. “That is why everyone is here. That is what we’ve been waiting on all year. We’re ready to go.”
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