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Julian Edelman (thigh/concussion) remains among 12 Patriots limited

12.18.14 at 4:50 pm ET
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There were no changes to the Patriots’ injury report from Wednesday, as every player was present at Thursday’s practice in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium.

12 players were limited though, including Julian Edelman (thigh/concussion). With Edelman staying the same as he did on Wednesday, it is a good sign for his availability on Sunday. A concussion popped up next to his name on the report on Wednesday. It is still unknown when he suffered the concussion. LeGarrette Blount (shoulder), Kyle Arrington (hamstring) and Danny Aiken (finger) are among the 12 players limited.

One small note is that Dan Connolly‘s ankle injury has been changed to a knee injury. He was limited.

Quarterback Tom Brady (ankle) remained a full participant.

Here is a complete practice report:

Limited participation

LS Danny Aiken (finger)
CB Kyle Arrington (hamstring)
RB LeGarrette Blount (shoulder)
OL Dan Connolly (knee)
WR Julian Edelman (thigh/concussion)
OL Cameron Fleming (ankle)
LB Dont’€™a Hightower (shoulder)
DE Chandler Jones (hip)
WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder)
DE Rob Ninkovich (heel)
RB Shane Vereen (ankle)
LB Chris White (ankle)

Full participation

QB Tom Brady (ankle)

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Report: Brad Allen will work as referee for Patriots-Jets

12.18.14 at 3:20 pm ET
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Brad Allen will work as the lead official for Patriots-Jets Sunday. (A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Brad Allen will work as the lead official for Patriots-Jets Sunday. (A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

First-year referee Brad Allen will work as the referee for Sunday’s Patriots-Jets game at MetLife, according to

This will mark Allen’s second New England game of the season — he was the official for the Oct. 23 game between the Patriots and Bears. Allen, who was one of three new hires this offseason, worked as a referee in the ACC for the past nine years, and has also worked as the head official for the 2012 Rose Bowl and the 2014 Sugar Bowl.

Here’s a look at who has worked as the lead official for each New England game this year, and the corresponding penalties for each game, not counting the flags that were offset or declined.

Sept. 7 at Miami: Walt Anderson — 9 penalties, 100 yards (Dolphins — 4 penalties, 26 yards)
Sept. 14 at Minnesota: Tony Corrente — 15 penalties, 163 yards (Vikings — 7 penalties, 58 yards)
Sept. 21 vs. Oakland: Pete Morelli — 6 penalties, 59 yards (Raiders — 6 penalties, 49 yards)
Sept. 29 at Kansas City: John Parry — 3 penalties, 30 yards (Chiefs — 4 penalties, 35 yards)
Oct. 5 vs. Cincinnati: Jerome Boger — 12 penalties, 114 yards (Bengals — 4 penalties, 37 yards)
Oct. 12 at Buffalo: Walt Coleman — 9 penalties, 60 yards (Bills — 8 penalties, 107 yards)
Oct. 16 vs. Jets: Bill Leavy — 9 penalties, 64 yards (Jets — 7 penalties, 70 yards)
Oct. 23 vs. Chicago: Brad Allen — 7 penalties, 38 yards (Bears — 5 penalties, 41 yards)
Nov. 2 vs. Denver: Walt Anderson — 9 penalties, 71 yards (Broncos — 10 penalties, 72 yards)
Nov. 16 at Indy: Pete Morelli — 5 penalties, 53 yards (Colts — 4 penalties, 27 yards)
Nov. 23 vs. Detroit: Tony Corrente — 11 penalties, 89 yards (Lions — 9 penalties, 54 yards)
Nov. 30 at Green Bay: Ed Hochuli — 4 penalties, 25 yards (Packers — 4 penalties, 22 yards)
Dec. 7 at San Diego: Bill Leavy — 6 penalties, 70 yards (Chargers — 8 penalties, 61 yards)
Dec. 14 vs. Miami: Bill Vinovich — 5 penalties, 51 yards (Dolphins — 5 penalties, 35 yards)
Dec. 21 at Jets: Brad Allen

For more on Allen’s work as a referee, check out his page at Pro Football Reference. For more information on this week’s assignments, click through to the always reliable Football Zebras. And for more Patriots news, check out

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Rob Gronkowski, Darrelle Revis take turns talking each other up

12.18.14 at 3:02 pm ET
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FOXBORO — With the debate around Darrelle Revis and Rob Gronkowski as potential MVP candidates, this afternoon in the Patriots locker room, we decided to ask each player about the other one and what they bring to the field.

“He’s a great player,” Gronkowski said of Revis. “He’s just so great with ball skills and he’s just so relaxed out there. You don’t even think he’s trying — that’s how good he is. When you see a player like that, you’re like, ‘Man, is he trying?’ He’s just right at the ball every time. That just means he’s got a lot of skills and he’s quick on his feet. The day he can react to a ball is unbelievable. He’s a great corner. It’s great to have him on our team.”

“The same stuff you see in the game, he’s doing at practice,” Revis said of Gronkowski. “He’s humble. He’s humble about it — the way he approaches the game. He goes out and works. He works at it. Him and Tom [Brady], the chemistry they have, you see them working at it, week in and week out at practice. You just have to give them credit for what they do. They’re working hard, and the catches you see in the game are the ones you see in practice. You’re just in awe sometimes of how much chemistry they have between the two.”

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Julian Edelman (thigh/concussion) present at Patriots practice Thursday

12.18.14 at 12:25 pm ET
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All Patriots players were in attendance at the start of practice Thursday afternoon at Gillette Stadium, according to multiple reports. The team is preparing for Sunday’s game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium.

This comes a day after Julian Edelman had a concussion added to his name on the injury report Wednesday. Given he played in the final minutes of Sunday’s win and spoke postgame, there was a thought the injury occurred in Wednesday’s practice. Having him present at the start of practice on Thursday is a good sign for his availability Sunday.

Practice squad offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann returned to practice after not being present at the start of Wednesday’s session.

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Dolphins’ Cortland Finnegan on Tom Brady playing into his 40s: ‘Tell him to wake up from whatever dream he is in’

12.18.14 at 7:48 am ET
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It’s no secret 37-year-old Tom Brady doesn’t think his playing days are anywhere close to being over. He’s been on record saying he wants to play into his 40s.

Dolphins cornerback Cortland Finnegan isn’t so sure of the idea.

“He’€™s asleep,”€ Finnegan said to to the Palm Beach Post. “Tell him to wake up from whatever dream he is in.

“He can probably do it mentally, but physically, as the game evolves and gets faster and the guys at the defensive end position get bigger, it’€™s going to be tough. I don’€™t know that he’€™ll be able to recover as fast.”€

The Patriots are coming off of a 41-13 win over the Dolphins Sunday, a game in which the Patriots clinched their sixth straight AFC East title. Brady went 21-for-35 with 287 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The quarterback is also in the conversation for his third career MVP award.

Finnegan, 30, went on to admit Brady is a good player and is a sure Hall of Famer.

“œYou’€™ve got to give him his props,” Finnegan admitted. “He’€™s a Hall of Famer, one of the best, and I will give him the benefit of the doubt because he’€™s done it with lesser players than other guys.

“He was born in a manger, I’€™ll say that much. But I’€™m not sure at age 40 he wants to take a blind-side hit and get back up.”

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Rob Ninkovich’s ‘consistent’ play has him mentioned with Hall of Famer Andre Tippett

12.18.14 at 6:00 am ET
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FOXBORO — There was a time where Patriots defensive end/outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich was considered underrated. Not so much these days, especially when he is now in the same sentence as former Patriots great Andre Tippett.

By recording a sack in last Sunday’s win over the Dolphins, Ninkovich has recorded eight or more sacks in three consecutive seasons — the first Patriots player to do so since the Pro Football Hall of Famer Tippett achieved the feat from 1985-87.

“Every year I have high expectations of what I should do out there and set goals for myself,” Ninkovich said Wednesday. “I’ve been able to just be consistent. The more consistent you are the better you are.”

The versatile Ninkovich is able to lineup seemingly anywhere in the front-seven. He can line up as a defensive end, an outside linebacker, or even get down in a 3-point stance if need be. Ninkovich isn’t the only player with such versatility on the defense, as Chandler Jones and newcomer Akeem Ayers are virtually the same way.

Ninkovich finally got to be on the field at the same time with both players on Sunday, as it was Jones’ first game back since suffering a hip injury in Week 7. Having all three on the field presented some matchup problems for Miami, and paid off with Jones having 1.5 sacks, Ninkovich adding another, while Ayers had a tackle for a loss.

“The more guys that you can have doing different things defensively you’re better off,” said Ninkovich. “You can just be very multiple and what you can do and you have guys that can do a lot of different things and that helps your team out. The more you can do the better. I am happy to have all those guys out there with me making plays.”

The nine-year veteran — six with the Patriots — has played in 84 straight regular-season games, the most in the NFL among defensive ends. He’s also started in 63 straight, also the most in the NFL.

As much as he plays, he’s done a tremendous job of not being flagged for penalties. He was not flagged once this year until he was flagged twice against the Colts, nine games into the year, and he hasn’t been flagged since. The Patriots as a team have not been as good, as they have been flagged for 110 penalties (fifth-most in the league) for a total of 987 yards (third-most in the NFL).

“It’s tough because obviously you want to play smart football,” said Ninkovich. “Sometimes some of those calls it is hard to prevent some of them. But you have to do your best to play within the rules. That is what they are there for. Again, we’re out there playing hard, flying around, trying to make football plays. You can’t really slow yourself down, you just have to go play.”

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Tom Brady appreciates the ‘amazing’ Darrelle Revis and ponders what makes up an MVP

12.17.14 at 9:58 pm ET
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Tom Brady has appreciated the work of Darrelle Revis this season. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tom Brady has appreciated the work of Darrelle Revis this season. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Hours before Tom Brady‘s weekly pregame chat with reporters at Gillette Stadium, Rex Ryan acknowledged the greatness of Darrelle Revis but didn’t want to go overboard.

Brady had no such restrictions on him when he was asked his impressions of what Revis has meant to the Patriots’ defense and the team overall.

“He’€™s a phenomenal player and I’€™ve loved playing with him,” Brady said. “I’€™ve hated playing against him, and I’€™ve had my fair share of those opportunities. He’€™s a great teammate. He’€™s a phenomenal player. I think the thing that I’€™m so impressed with is his coverage skills without getting penalties.”

Avoiding penalties has certainly been a challenge, not only for the Patriots but everyone across the NFL. Flags are up around the league at the rate of two more per game. But Revis has been able to avoid the laundry being heaved in his direction. He has been hit with just two accepted penalties this season, both for defensive holding. Brady sees that as remarkable considering officials have been on higher alert for illegal contact beyond the line of scrimmage.

“That’€™s a rare thing to be backpedaling when the guys who are some of the best athletes in the world are running at you as fast as they can with the size and speed of the way the receivers are, and to be able to cover those guys like he does is pretty amazing.”

Brady also spoke of the growth he’s seen from Rob Gronkowski in the five years he’s spent with him. In Brady, Gronkowski and Revis, it could be argued that the Patriots have three players putting up MVP-type seasons. So, what is the difference between a valuable football player as opposed to an outstanding one?

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