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Martellus Bennett, Matthew Slater among 5 Patriots limited 12.09.16 at 4:07 pm ET
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This is a 2016 photo of Martellus Bennett of the New England Patriots NFL football team. This image reflects the New England Patriots active roster as of Wednesday, May 25, 2016 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)

Martellus Bennett

FOXBORO — Friday was a very similar injury report to Thursday, as the only change was safety Jordan Richards going from did not practice to limited participation.

Wide receiver Danny Amendola missed the session with an ankle injury and Richards was among five Patriots players limited.

Other players limited included Martellus Bennett, Eric Rowe, Matthew Slater and Elandon Roberts.

Here is the complete injury report from Friday.

DID NOT PARTICIPATE

WR Danny Amendola (ankle)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION

TE Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder)
LB Elandon Roberts (hamstring)
CB Eric Rowe (hamstring)
WR Matthew Slater (foot)
S Jordan Richards (knee)

Read More: Danny Amendola, Martellus Bennett,
How Chiefs’ win over Raiders really benefited Patriots’ road to No. 1 seed in AFC playoffs 12.09.16 at 1:56 pm ET
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Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots have a clear path to the AFC's No. 1 overall seed. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots have a clear path to the AFC’s No. 1 overall seed. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Everyone knew how big Thursday’s Raiders-Chiefs game was when it came to the playoff picture, but it may have been bigger for the Patriots than some thought, especially with the Chiefs coming out on top.

The two teams are the Patriots’ only real competition as it relates to the No. 1 seed in the AFC for the postseason. After the game, the Raiders and Chiefs both are 10-3 with the Patriots a half game up at 10-2 before their Monday night matchup with the Ravens at Gillette Stadium.

Thanks to the Chiefs’ win, the road to the No. 1 seed for the Patriots was made a lot clearer.

Here are the remaining schedules:

Patriots (10-2): vs. Ravens, at Broncos, vs. Jets, at Dolphins
Chiefs (10-3): vs. Titans, vs. Broncos, at Chargers
Raiders (10-3): at Chargers, vs. Colts, at Broncos

Here are the playoff scenarios relating to the Patriots getting the No. 1 seed:

Patriots win last four games = Patriots No. 1 seed
Patriots win three of four and Raiders & Chiefs win out = Patriots No. 1 seed
Patriots win three of four and Chiefs and Raiders lose at least one more game = Patriots No. 1 seed
Patriots win three of four and Chiefs win out, Raiders lose at least one more game = Patriots No. 1 seed
Patriots win three of four and Raiders win out, Chiefs lose at least one more game = Raiders No. 1 seed

The Patriots would get the No. 1 seed if both the Raiders and Chiefs win out because then the two AFC West teams would be tied for the division title, but the Chiefs would win the tiebreaker by way of their two wins against the Raiders this season. Then, it would be between the Patriots and Chiefs for the No. 1 overall seed and the Patriots win that tiebreaker because of wins over common opponents. The only way the Patriots wouldn’t get the No. 1 seed if they win at least three of four down the stretch would be the Raiders winning out and the Chiefs losing at least once, which would mean the Raiders would win the division.

Danny Amendola only player missing at Patriots practice 12.09.16 at 1:11 pm ET
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Danny Amendola

Danny Amendola

FOXBORO — There was good news coming out of the media portion of Patriots practice on Friday — only one player was missing.

The lone player absent was wide receiver Danny Amendola, who reportedly is out for the remainder of the regular season after sustaining an ankle injury against the Rams.

New wide out Griff Whalen, who was signed on Thursday, was present. Also present was Jordan Richards, who looks to be practicing for the first time since suffering a knee injury against the Jets two weeks ago.

Matthew Slater and Martellus Bennett were once again present after missing practice on Wednesday.

The Patriots will practice one more time on Saturday before hosting the Ravens on Monday Night Football.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Danny Amendola,
Tom Brady, Julian Edelman removed from Patriots’ injury report, while 4 players limited in practice 12.08.16 at 4:25 pm ET
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Tom Brady

Tom Brady

FOXBORO — The Patriots and some of their key players appear to be getting healthy for the stretch run.

Tom Brady (knee) and Julian Edelman (foot) were both removed from this week’s injury report, which is certainly a good sign moving forward.

Danny Amendola (ankle) and Jordan Richards (knee) both missed Thursday’s practice, while four other Patriots players were limited, including rookie Elandon Roberts (hamstring), who played only the opening kickoff against the Rams.

Roberts had a jaw injury listed at the end of last week, but that has been removed.

Also limited were Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder), Eric Rowe (hamstring) and Matthew Slater (foot).

Here is the complete Patriots injury report.

DID NOT PARTICIPATE

WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
S Jordan Richards (knee)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION

TE Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder)
LB Elandon Roberts (hamstring)
CB Eric Rowe (hamstring)
WR Matthew Slater (foot)

Read More: Elandon Roberts, Julian Edelman, Tom Brady,
John Harbaugh still believes Ravens were wronged with ineligible receiver play in AFC divisional round vs. Patriots 12.08.16 at 4:11 pm ET
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John Harbaugh still seems bothered by the AFC divisional round game in 2015. (Evan Habeeb/USA Today Sports)

John Harbaugh still seems bothered by the AFC divisional round game in 2015. (Evan Habeeb/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — The Patriots and Ravens will meet Monday night for the first time since they met in the AFC divisional round in 2015.

New England won the game 35-31, but the biggest talker following the game was a few ineligible receiver plays when the Patriots had more receivers on the field that were eligible and made one of them ineligible.

This caught the Ravens off-guard and helped the Patriots come back from a 14-point deficit.

After the game Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the plays were “clearly deception” and was upset the Ravens didn’t get a chance to see where the ineligible players were lined up before the snap.

Thursday, on a conference call with the New England media, CSNNE.com’s Tom E. Curran brought up how a few weeks ago the Ravens held every player on the Bengals during a punt play before taking a safety to ensure the game ended before the ensuing free kick.

Curran asked how that play was different than what the Patriots did in the playoffs a few years back.

“Well, that is something — I don’t even want to get into all that,” Harbaugh said. “That’s all been hashed out. As far as that goes, I mean, I believe what I believe and I think that’s all been proven to be right, but the point about that is that’s been talked about. That’s been looked at. That tactic has been used by punt teams for 20 years. It’s nothing new. It’s nothing that hasn’t been addressed before by officials and by the competition committee.

“As a matter in fact, after we did it in the Super Bowl, my brother [Jim Harbaugh] brought it up and I supported him to change it — to extend it on special teams plays and the competition committee and the coaches on the competition committee and Dean [Blandino] didn’t want to look at it back then. They had a chance to change it four years ago. So everyone knew about it and it wasn’t a surprise to anybody, so it didn’t create an unfair advantage for anybody.”

Curran brought up how the Patriots’ play was ran earlier that season by the Titans and also by Nick Saban with Alabama. He also noted Harbaugh’s comments after the game inferred he was discrediting the Patriots’ win.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: John Harbaugh,
Malcolm Butler praises Steve Smith: ‘Age of 37, man, he’s out there running around like he’s 26 or 27′ 12.08.16 at 2:18 pm ET
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Malcolm Butler

Malcolm Butler

FOXBORO — It remains to be seen whether or not Malcolm Butler will be matched up against Steve Smith on Monday, but Butler certainly respects the Ravens receiver.

Despite being 37 years old, Smith has 54 catches for 589 yards and three touchdowns this season.

“A lot of respect,” Butler said of Smith. “Age of 37, man, he’s out there running around like he’s 26 or 27. That’s a lot of respect. Great player.”

Butler went on to say Smith is one of his favorite players in the entire league because of his toughness.

Another thing with Smith is he isn’t afraid to trash-talk on the field. The Patriots know this all too well, as when the Patriots faced the Panthers in 2013, Smith and Aqib Talib went at it all game long.

Smith ultimately got the best of Talib and afterwards, Smith had one of the better quotes of the season saying, “Ice up, son. Ice up” when Talib didn’t finish the game.

Butler is aware of this and knows he cannot get involved with such after the play talk.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Malcolm Butler, steve smith,
Martellus Bennett admits he isn’t 100 percent healthy, but he’s like the ‘Energizer Bunny’ and keeps going 12.08.16 at 1:47 pm ET
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Martellus Bennett is playing through both ankle and shoulder injuries. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Martellus Bennett is playing through both ankle and shoulder injuries. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Credit Martellus Bennett, as the tight end is typically very forth coming when speaking to the media, which occurred once again on Thursday.

Bennett has been on the Patriots injury report since Week 5 with an ankle injury and then a shoulder injury popped up a few weeks ago, but he still has yet to miss a game.

The tight end acknowledged he isn’t 100 percent healthy.

“Last week was probably my worst game as a Patriot,” Bennett said. “But, you know, you have a bad game here and there. This week, come back grinding and get ready.”

Perhaps Bennett could benefit from a week off with only four regular-season games remaining and the playoffs to come, but the tight end admitted he isn’t thinking about that.

“I never thought about that. I just keep going,” he said. “I’m like the Energizer Bunny. I just try to find a way. Sometimes it’s [expletive] when you’re out there playing with different injuries. You can’t do a lot of things that you want to do. You have [expletive] plays. You might have a string of bad plays in a row just because you’re dealing with different things.

“But, throughout the game you kind of find a way to get the job done. I think that’s the biggest point. It may not be pretty all the time, but try to figure some kind of way to get it done. Sometimes it’s adjusting as the game goes on.”

Bennett also may have hinted he’s playing through something more serious than just a low-ankle sprain.

“The thing about this sport is it’s always something,” he said. “You never go through a season without having some kind of nick or tear, but there’s a lot of guys playing with different things. But some guys are able to play through different injuries, and some of the same injuries, you see guys around the league — go on IR and things like that, but it just depends on the person and their pain tolerance.”

The 29-year-old said occasionally it helps missing practice like he did on Wednesday, but ultimately he wants to be on the practice field, which he was on Thursday.

“Sometimes. Sometimes it’s like, thank God. I needed that today,” Bennett said. “It varies each week — I’ll fight through whatever and I think that’s something that my teammates and coaches know about me that I’m going to try to give them everything I got no matter what.”

Bennett and the Patriots will host the Ravens on Monday Night Football.

Read More: Martellus Bennett,
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