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Reports: Calf issue for Tom Brady not considered serious

09.04.14 at 8:32 pm ET
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Multiple reports now indicate that the calf injury that kept quarterback Tom Brady out of Thursday’s practice is not considered serious, and shouldn’t keep him out of Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Dolphins.

Brady was not spotted at the start of Thursday’s practice, and popped up on the injury report later that day with what the team called a calf injury. It was the first known DNP for the quarterback since the start of training camp.

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Report: Dolphins claim DT Bruce Gaston off waivers

09.04.14 at 5:46 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The Dolphins have claimed defensive tackle Bruce Gaston off waivers, according to ESPN.

Gaston, who was waived by the Patriots on Wednesday, is the latest available low-level player who has been gobbled up by the other side in the week leading up to Sunday’s opener between the Patriots and Dolphins — New England has already scooped up defensive back Don Jones, who was let go by Miami by acquired by the Patriots on Monday.

Meanwhile, defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles Tweeted (but quickly deleted) Thursday afternoon that he was still a Patriot. (See below.) Quarles, who had been added and then released by New England earlier in the week, is likely headed for the practice squad as a result.

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Tom Brady misses Thursday practice because of calf issue

09.04.14 at 4:54 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Tom Brady did not participate in Thursday’s practice with what the team is calling a calf injury.

This is the first time Brady in recent memory has been held out of practice because of a calf issue. The quarterback was the only player who missed the session completely, as the Patriots continue to prepare for Sunday’s regular season opener against the Dolphins.

Here’€™s a look at the complete report:

QB Tom Brady (calf)

DE Michael Buchanan (ankle)
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee)
DT Chris Jones (ankle)
DT Sealver Siliga (hand)

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Darrelle Revis: Mike Wallace is ‘probably fastest receiver in the league’

09.04.14 at 3:11 pm ET
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Darrelle Revis figures to make his regular-season debut with the Patriots Sunday. (Getty Images)

Darrelle Revis figures to make his regular-season debut with the Patriots Sunday. (Getty Images)

FOXBORO — While it’s unclear how the Patriots will utilize Darrelle Revis in the regular season-opener Sunday against the Dolphins in Miami, it sounds like he’s intrigued about the challenge of facing wide receiver Mike Wallace.

Revis had nothing but positive things to say about Wallace on Thursday, saying he was “probably the fastest receiver in the league.”

“He’s very fast and he’s a very explosive receiver,” Revis said of Wallace, who was equally as effusive in his praise of Revis earlier in the week.

According to Revis — who faced him several times when he was in New York — the challenge of going up against Wallace means more than just watching him on film.

“Film can play tricks on your eyes sometimes when you watch it,” Revis said when pressed on Wallace’s skill set. “Until you get out there … film speed and game speed are totally two different things. I played against him in the past — a lot of guys on this team have — and I know how fast he is. He’s probably the fastest receiver in the league. We all know that and we are all aware of it as well.”

Then, there’s also the issue that comes with facing a team that is installing a new offensive system. With new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor — who made his bones working with Chip Kelly’s speedy offense in Philly last season — it’s likely that the Dolphins will keep their foot on the gas pedal.

When mixed with the swelling South Florida conditions, it presents a unique set of challenges for the New England defense.

“Miami always plays fast. They played fast in the past,” Revis said. “The weather plays a part as well. That hot weather. We’re aware. We’re aware of all the situations. I think that’s why we have a week to prepare to go through every scenario we can — player and coachwise — and just game plan the best we can.”

Ultimately, Revis — who was signed as a free agent in the spring — is excited for his first regular season action with the Patriots.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “It’s the first week — it’s good to get things going now. I think we’re all excited. We’ve been waiting for this for awhile, and now, it’s here.”

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NFL Week 1 picks: Always pick against Raiders

09.04.14 at 12:45 pm ET
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When I first glanced at the Week 1 lines, I was quickly reminded that I know nothing. This was not a drastic change from the norm, as I am neither a football savant nor a gambling maven, but it was startling nonetheless. By midseason, I can convince myself that my picks are logical, based on statistical research and forward thinking. I usually can mask my irrational hunches by citing the latest Football Outsiders’€™ DVOA rankings or by regurgitating talking points from Bill Simmons’ latest podcast. But going into this weekend, I can’€™t even trick myself. This week I am going to have to trust my instincts, rely on my fastball, and other clichés. With that being said, on to the picks.

Jets -5 vs. Raiders

This is the easiest pick of the week. It triggered two of the simplest gambling rules: Always pick against the rookie QB making his NFL debut, and always pick against the Raiders. While the Jets have all sorts of problems at cornerback, Derek Carr has no chance against a Rex Ryan defense. Even the putrid Geno Smith can’€™t mess this up.

Pick: Jets -5

Bears -6.5 vs. Bills

The quarterback situation in Buffalo is laughable. I would rather have Buffalo Bill from “The Silence of the Lambs” as my starter. When Jim Kelly is publicly calling out EJ Manuel and the organization is scrambling a week before the season to sign the immortal Kyle Orton, you know there are issues. With Sammy Watkins, the one glimmer of hope for Buffalo, dealing with rib injuries, and Kiko Alonso done for the season, there is a reason Bills fans are the drunkest in the NFL.

Pick: Bears -6.5

Buccaneers -1.5 vs. Panthers

I feel like I’€™m taking crazy pills. The Bucs are favored to in their first game?! I don’€™t think you could find anyone willing to pick the Bucs to win this game, let alone cover. I don’€™t care how hurt Cam Newton is, the Panthers have an elite defense and the Bucs are quarterbacked by Josh McCown, a 35-year-old who vaguely looks like Guile from Street Fighter. Just four years ago McCown was listening to “Brass Bonanza” playing for the Hartford Colonials of the UFL and now we expect him to beat the Panthers? No chance.

Pick: Panthers + 1.5

Broncos -7.5 vs. Colts

The Colts have a legitimate shot to earn a first-round bye in the AFC this year. They play in a trash division, face the mediocre NFC East and have a top-five quarterback in Andrew Luck. This is one of their biggest games of the season, and Luck has a habit of keeping games close. Also, Peyton Manning still has to get used to the addition of Emmanuel Sanders and the subtractions of Eric Decker and Wes Welker‘€™s brain function. Pop the Molly, I’€™m concussed!

Pick: Colts + 7.5

Cardinals -3 vs. Chargers

I have been on the bandwagon of the bolo tie-wearing, multiple kid-having Philip Rivers for almost two seasons now. He is the perfect antihero, so unlikable that it’€™s hard not to root for him. A breakout year from Keenan Allen and another year removed from the horrendous stench that is Norv Turner will serve Rivers well. Hopefully new offensive coordinator Frank Reich will finally #FreeRivers. Also worth mentioning, Carson Palmer is the other starting quarterback in this game.

Pick: Chargers +3

Peyton Manning: Tom Brady’s rule on playing until you ‘suck’ is a good one

09.04.14 at 12:30 pm ET
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Peyton Manning is in complete agreement with Tom Brady.

The Broncos quarterback was asked about this week’s comments from the 37-year-old Brady — made during his weekly appearance on WEEI — when he said, “When I suck, I’€™ll retire. I don’€™t plan on sucking for a long time.”

Sounds like the 38-year-old Manning has the same attitude regarding potential retirement.

“Brady said he was going to play until he … sucked,” Manning said with a smile. “That’s a pretty good line.

“I’m kind of the same feel. I don’t have a set number,” he added. “You’re just not playing and you can’t help and — some guys can hang on, can hang on and hang on and get another year vested, I guess, if that’s the goal. If you can really produce and help a team, and you enjoy playing, I think that’s up to the individual.

“Right until you suck — I think that’s a pretty good rule right there.”

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QB Tom Brady only one missing from start of Thursday practice

09.04.14 at 12:01 pm ET
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Quarterback Tom Brady was the only player missing from the start of Patriots practice on Thursday.

The quarterback was not on the injury report on Wednesday, and so it’s unclear if he’s suffering from some sort of malady. ESPN’s Mike Reiss tweeted that a source says Brady will be ready to play Sunday.

The rest of the roster — including Thursday morning signees Danny Aiken, Chris White and McLeod Bethel-Thompson — was all present on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium when the session commenced.

The Patriots continue prep work for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Dolphins in Miami.

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