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Sealver Siliga, Cameron Fleming missing at start of Patriots practice; LeGarrette Blount present

11.20.14 at 12:05 pm ET
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According to multiple reports, Sealver Siliga, Dominique Easley, Cameron Fleming and Chandler Jones were absent at the start of Patriots practice Thursday afternoon. Newly signed running back LeGarrette Blount was present and wore No. 60 (very-much temporary).

Easley (knee), Fleming (finger/ankle) and Jones (hip) all did not practice on Wednesday, while Siliga was spotted at Wednesday’s practice, he in fact has not been taken off of the short-term designated for return list, so his 21-day clock has not yet been started.

The Patriots are getting ready for Sunday’s matchup against the Lions Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

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Read More: Cameron Fleming, LeGarrette Blount, Sealver Siliga,

Patriots officially add RB LeGarrette Blount

11.20.14 at 11:35 am ET
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The Patriots officially announced the return of LeGarette Blount and the release of Casey Walker  Thursday morning. Here’s a portion of the release issued by the team:

Blount was originally acquired by the Patriots from Tampa Bay in a trade on April 27, 2013, in exchange for RB Jeff Demps and a 2013 seventh-round draft selection. The 6-foot, 250-pounder originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Tennessee out of Oregon. He was released by Tennessee following training camp and claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay. Blount has played in 67 NFL games with 28 starts and has 2,977 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns. He played in 11 games with Pittsburgh this season and had 266 yards and two touchdowns on 65 rushing attempts.

Last season with the Patriots, Blount played in 16 games with seven starts and finished with 772 yards and seven touchdowns. In the postseason win vs. Indianapolis on Jan. 11, 2014, Blount set ran for 166 yards and set a franchise record with four rushing touchdowns.

Walker, 24, was signed by the Patriots from the Carolina practice squad on Sept. 27. He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Carolina out of Oklahoma on April 30, 2013. The 6-foot-1, 340-pounder spent part of the 2013 season on the Carolina practice squad and went to training camp with Carolina this past summer. He was released on Aug. 30 and signed to the Carolina practice squad on Aug. 31. Walker played in five games with one start for the Patriots and accumulated 10 total tackles and one sack.

Read More: Casey Walker, LeGarette Blount,

Former Steelers teammates were glad to see LeGarrette Blount released: ‘That’s a blessing for us’

11.20.14 at 10:39 am ET
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Things didn't work out for LeGarrette Blount in Pittsburgh. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Things didn’t work out for LeGarrette Blount in Pittsburgh. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

After walking off the field in the middle of Monday night’s game against the Titans, Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount was released the next day.

It didn’t take long before he was scooped by another team, as the Patriots reportedly signed him on Thursday. This comes after Blount played a part in the Patriots getting to the AFC Championship game last year.

The Steelers weren’t exactly upset with Blount being released.

“You know what, man, we have a good team,” center and team captain Maurkice Pouncey said via the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on Tuesday. “If you don’t want to be here, don’t be here. At the end of the day, you have your decision to make as a man, and he made it.”

“We’re fine,” Pouncey added. “We have our starting running back. It’s probably a good thing that it happened. At the end of the day, if it was a cancer, he ended up leaving on his own. That’s a blessing for us. At the end of the day, we’re good. We don’t need him.”

Blount had just 65 carries for 266 yards and two touchdowns this season with the Steelers, as Le’Veon Bell has turned into the lead back with Blount seeing very limited action. Bell has 195 carries for 951 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, while adding two receiving.

“We’re grown men and we need to act like grown men,” defensive end Cam Heyward said. “If you’re not on the field, that shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re not on the field, you have to make other contributions. We’re a team. If you don’t want to be a part of the team, don’t be a part of the team. We’re trying to win, and that’s not going to be acceptable.”

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Read More: Antonio Allen, LeGarrette Blount, Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh Steelers

Report: RB LeGarrette Blount set to return to Patriots

11.20.14 at 8:09 am ET
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LeGarrette Blount, who was released earlier this week by the Steelers, is set to sign with the Patriots, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

Blount, who starred down the stretch for New England last season before signing a free-agent contract in Pittsburgh, was cut loose earlier this week by the Steelers. He played in each of Pittsburgh’€™€™s 11 games in 2014, rushing for 266 yards on 65 carries with two touchdowns and added six catches for 36 yards.

In 2013, Blount played a sizable role in the Patriots success down the stretch, rushing for 772 yards for New England and helping power the Patriots to the AFC title game.

CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora adds the contract would be a two-year deal.

UPDATE (9 a.m.): ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss adds the Patriots plan on releasing defensive lineman Casey Walker, once the deal becomes official, to make room on the 53-man roster. He would be eligible to return to the practice squad if he clears waivers.

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Bill Belichick says Ndamukong Suh ‘can do it all’

11.20.14 at 6:00 am ET
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Ndamukong Suh is a big part of the Detroit defense. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Ndamukong Suh poses a huge challenge for the Patriots this week. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

As is the case leading up to most games, Bill Belichick has always been one to praise the opposition so that the Patriots are never looking past their opponent for that coming week. But when Belichick talks about Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, he isn’t kidding, Suh is the real deal.

The second overall pick in the 2010 draft certainly has made his presence felt in the NFL — winning the AP NFL Rookie of the Year, as well as being a three-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time, first-team All-Pro.

“He’€™s pretty dominant,” said Belichick. “He can do it all, and his effort, the plays he makes from behind in chase, like on screen plays and hustling downfield, backside plays, in addition to all his point of attack and pass rushes and disruptive plays. The guy gets double teamed, [but] he’€™s still productive. He’€™s really good.

“They move him around and make it a little bit difficult to know exactly where he’€™s going to be. You have a pretty good idea, but they do enough other things with their front to give him opportunities to make plays and he takes advantage of them. He’€™s really good. That’€™s a very good front they have. He’€™s the marquee guy, but they have a lot of good players on that front. They roll them all through, they all play, they rotate frequently and they’€™re fresh and they’€™re active — very disruptive.”

So far this season Suh has 28 tackles and 4.5 sacks, with all of his sacks coming in Lions wins.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been protected much better of late, as he’s been sacked just three times in the last four games with the offensive line getting more familiar with one another by the day. This week will present a huge test as led by Suh, the Lions have 26 sacks this season — 10th in the league.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, detroit lions, Ndamukong Suh, Tom Brady

Jim Caldwell on Rob Gronkowski: ‘Very, very unusual gifts that he has’

11.19.14 at 5:31 pm ET
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Lions head coach Jim Caldwell spoke of the challenges Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski will present come Sunday. (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell spoke of the challenges Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski will present come Sunday. (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Christmas is more than a month away, but Lions head coach Jim Caldwell is already talking about gifts.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been on a tear the past six games with 40 catches for 587 yards and six touchdowns. Over that span Gronkowski has been able to showcase his pass catching abilities, as well being able to run after the catch — no bigger example than his 26-yard touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the Colts.

“He’€™s obviously a great talent, just an incredible run, particularly when you look at the one he had against Indianapolis,” Caldwell said on a conference call Wednesday. “He can catch the ball, and not only is he a fine pass catcher, but he can also run with it after he gets it. Very, very unusual gifts that he has.”

Gronkowski isn’t the only player Caldwell and the Lions are worried about, as he also spoke on quarterback Tom Brady.

“Obviously, he’€™s been doing some great things like he always does,” he said. “They are a very surgical sort of a procedure, where he’€™s throwing the ball accurately, getting it to all of his playmakers and putting points on the board.”

Sunday’s game will feature the Patriots offense, which is averaging 45.3 points in its last three games, against a Lions defense who comes in allowing an NFL-low 15.6 points per game. Caldwell, in his first season with Detroit, knows it will be a challenge.

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Read More: Jim Caldwell, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady,

Darrelle Revis thinks Calvin Johnson is ‘a man amongst boys out there’

11.19.14 at 5:24 pm ET
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FOXBORO — It will be strength against strength Sunday when Darrelle Revis and the Patriots secondary square off against the most fearsome receiver in the NFL — Calvin Johnson.

While it’s possible Revis won’t spend the entire game playing “Megatron” straight up, he will still likely have to know where he is most of the time.

Having missed several games in the middle of the season with an injured ankle, Johnson has been limited to 34 catches for 520 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson needs just two more touchdowns to reach 75 for his career, joining Barry Sanders as the only players in Lions history to reach that milestone. It could happen Sunday.

“He’s Megatron,” Revis beamed on Wednesday. “That’s what makes him different. He’s a man amongst boys out there. You see it all the time. He’s 6-6, 230 pounds and he runs a 4.3 [40-yard sprint]. That’s pretty freakish. It’s like the ultimate receiver you want. If you can create him on the video game, that’s basically what he is.

“A lot of respect for him. I feel our defense has a lot of respect for him. He’s a lot of respect around the league as well.”

Revis has played against Johnson twice before, and his teams are 2-0 against the Lions. In those games Johnson has eight catches for 128 yards, although Revis did leave the second game against him when he was with the Buccaneers. Would he welcome the chance of going up against him again mano-a-mano on Sunday?

“Bro, it’s competition,” Revis said with a big smile. “Like I said, we don’t back down from whoever the receiving corps are, the guys are, it’s competition. I’m sure it’s the same if you ask Calvin. We’re looking forward to it as much as him and their offense. It’s competition. Competition is fun. We just have to keep on competing and working hard at what we do and what we do best.”

Johnson, who technically is listed at 6-foot-5, will be like facing Rob Gronkowski but only with a lot more speed.

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Read More: Calvin Johnson, Darrelle Revis, detroit lions, Megatron
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