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Brandon Browner reportedly struggling to pick up Patriots’ D 10.09.14 at 9:18 pm ET
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Brandon Browner intercepts  a pass intended for Kenbrell Thompkins in June mini-camp. (Mike Petraglia/

Brandon Browner intercepts a pass intended for Kenbrell Thompkins in June mini-camp. (Mike Petraglia/

FOXBORO — Brandon Browner, the defensive back the Patriots signed to a three-year, $16.8 million contract in March, is having trouble picking up the defense of Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

So much so, that he was held out of Sunday night’s game against the Bengals because he is not up to speed with the system, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.

Browner, who missed practice Thursday due to what the team is calling an ankle injury, was held out of the Cincinnati game because he is lagging behind, a source told the Herald. Browner and Brian Tyms were eligible to return against the Bengals after each served four-game suspensions. With Tyms, it appeared to be matter of numbers in the receiving corps. With Browner, it now seems to be a matter of readiness.

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, Browner’s former teammate, told the Herald in June that the Seahawks gave their corners just one responsibility. Sherman hinted that adding more responsibilities could make him less effective.

Browner may be in the same boat as Darrelle Revis – playing best when he is allowed to play his own game, as’s Chris Price wrote last week. Revis played primarily man coverage against Bengals superstar receiver A.J. Green and posting his best game in a Patriots uniform.

The other factor that figured in slowing Browner’s return to action is the healthy return of Alfonzo Dennard Sunday night after missing the previous three games with a shoulder injury.

Read More: Alfonzo Dennard, Brandon Browner, New England Patriots, Richard Sherman
DB Nate Ebner (finger), OL Cameron Fleming (finger) miss Wednesday practice 10.01.14 at 6:41 pm ET
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Nate Ebner

Nate Ebner

Defensive back Nate Ebner (finger) and offensive lineman Cameron Fleming (finger) were the only two Patriots held out of practice by the team on Wednesday because of injury.

In addition, the Patriots listed four as limited, a group that includes linebackers Dont’a Hightower (knee) and Jamie Collins (thigh), as well as defensive end Chandler Jones (shoulder).

The Patriots continue preparing for their date with the Bengals Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.

Did Not Participate
DB Nate Ebner (finger)
OL Cameron Fleming (finger)

Limited Participation
LB Jamie Collins (thigh)
CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder)
LB Dont’a Hightower (knee)
DE Chandler Jones (shoulder)

Full Participation
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee)

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Read More: Alfonzo Dennard, Cameron Fleming, chandler jones, Dont'a Hightower
Unlucky Seven: Who will end up sitting against the Chiefs? 09.29.14 at 12:20 pm ET
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Zach Moore

Zach Moore

The Patriots will announce their inactives 90 minutes before kickoff on Monday night, but based on what we’€™ve seen this week and the matchup on Monday, here’€™s our guess as to which seven players might be inactive:

Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard — The third-year corner was downgraded Sunday night — expect Logan Ryan to get the bulk of the snaps in his place.

Running back James White — Unless there’s a major injury in the backfield, the rookie out of Wisconsin appears to be a ticketed for a redshirt year.

Safety Don Jones — Jones, who was signed earlier this month, was listed as probable on Saturday’s injury report, as he’s been nagged by a hamstring issue that kept him out of last Sunday’s game against the Raiders.

Wide receiver Brandon LaFell — The Patriots have a surplus of wide receivers — Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thomplins have each taken at least one health scratch over the course of the first two weeks. From this viewpoint, it’s no disrespect intended toward Lafell — he’s just the one who drew the short straw this week.

Defensive end Zach Moore — Now that second-year defensive end Michael Buchanan is back to full health, the rookie out of Concordia appears to be the odd man out, at least at this point.

Offensive lineman Dan Connolly — The veteran was limited over the course of the week with a knee issue, and with Bill Belichick talking up both Ryan Wendell and Bryan Stork on Saturday, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Patriots sit Connolly for a week.

Defensive lineman Casey Walker — Walker, who was signed off the Panthers practice squad on Saturday following the announcement that Sealver Siliga was placed on short-term IR, will almost certainly take a seat for Monday’s game against the Chiefs as he literally just showed up.

Here’€™s a look at the inactives over the first three weeks of the season:

Week 1
DE Michael Buchanan
WR Aaron Dobson
LB Darius Fleming
DT Chris Jones
G Josh Kline
C Bryan Stork
RB James White

Week 2
DE Michael Buchanan
LB Jamie Collins
CB Alfonzo Dennard
DE Zach Moore
WR Kenbrell Thompkins
C Ryan Wendell
RB James White

Week 3
WR Aaron Dobson
CB Alfonzo Dennard
OL Ryan Wendell
OL Josh Kline
DE Zach Moore
RB James White
S Don Jones

Read More: Alfonzo Dennard, Brandon LaFell, Casey Walker, Dan Connolly
Patriots downgrade CB Alfonzo Dennard to out for Monday’s game 09.28.14 at 9:11 pm ET
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Alfonzo Dennard

Alfonzo Dennard

The Patriots announced Sunday that cornerback Alfonzo Dennard has been downgraded to out for Monday’s game against the Chiefs.

Dennard, who has been struggling with shoulder issues, will be sidelined for the third consecutive game. The 5-foot-10, 204-pound Dennard is in his third season with the Patriots. The 25-year-old has five picks over the course of his career, including three as a rookie in 2012.

With Dennard sidelined, expect a greater workload to fall on the shoulders of second-year corner Logan Ryan, who has seen the bulk of the playing time in Dennard’s place over the last three weeks. It will be interesting to see what happens at the corner spot next week for New England, as veteran Brandon Browner is set to come off his four-game ban following Monday’s game against the Chiefs.

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Read More: Alfonzo Dennard, Brandon Browner, Logan Ryan,
Patriots list 6 as probable for Monday, including CB Alfonzo Dennard, TE Rob Gronkowski and LB Jamie Collins 09.27.14 at 4:16 pm ET
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Alfonzo Dennard

Alfonzo Dennard

On Saturday, the Patriots listed six played as probable for Monday night’s game against the Chiefs, including cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, tight end Rob Gronkowski and linebacker Jamie Collins. In addition, the Patriots officially placed defensive lineman Sealver Siliga on injured reserve-designated for return with a foot injury.

Here’s the complete injury report

Did Not Participate — Placed on IR-DFR
DT Sealver Siliga (ankle)

Limited — Probable
DE Michael Buchanan (ankle)
LB Jamie Collins (thigh)
OL Dan Connolly (knee)
CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee)
S Don Jones (hamstring)

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Read More: Alfonzo Dennard, Dan Connolly, Don Jones, Jamie Collins
Alfonzo Dennard, Kenbrell Thompkins inactive for Patriots vs. Vikings 09.14.14 at 12:03 pm ET
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Alfonzo Dennard

Alfonzo Dennard

A logjam at wide receiver combined with the healthy return of Aaron Dobson has landed Kenbrell Thompkins on the inactive list for the Patriots’ Week 2 contest against the Vikings.

Also inactive for the Patriots Sunday are cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, Michael Buchanan, Jamie Collins, Zach Moore, Ryan Wendell and running back James White.

Buchanan (ankle), Collins (thigh) and Wendell (knee) were all ruled out Saturday night for various injuries.

Trainers were spotted looking at Dennard’s shoulder pregame Sunday in Minnesota, and that combined with the fact that he was having trouble finishing tackles in the second half against Miami is an indication of a possible injury issue, though Dennard was not listed on the Patriots’ injury report this week.

Dennard recorded his first interception of the season last week in the first half of the season opener against the Dolphins.

Sunday’s inactives mean defensive lineman Chris Jones, wide receiver Aaron Dobson and offensive lineman Bryan Stork are in line to make their season debuts.

As for the Vikings, running back Adrian Peterson is inactive after turning himself in after his arrest on child injury chargers on Friday. Quarterback Christian Ponder is also inactive, meaning rookie Teddy Bridgewater is the backup behind Matt Cassel. Also inactive are linebackers Michael Mauti and Brandon Watts, center David Yankey, wide receiver Rodney Smith and defensive end Scott Crichton.

Read More: Alfonzo Dennard, Kenbrell Thompkins, minnesota vikings, New England Patriots
Alfonzo Dennard says his life is ‘all about football now’ 07.30.14 at 4:01 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Third-year cornerback Alfonzo Dennard says he is now fully committed to his football career. It’s a career that is on life support after multiple run-ins with the law.

All of it began the weekend he was drafted in the seventh round by the Patriots in 2012. In his final game at Nebraska in 2011, Dennard was ejected for fighting with South Carolina receiver and current Chicago Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery. In the same month, he had a not-so-great Senior Bowl in front of scouts and coaches, causing his stock to plummet.

Then things got really messy.

Dennard was arrested in April 2012 for assaulting a police officer in Lincoln, Neb. and found guilty in February 2013, and the conviction carried a 30-day jail sentence to begin March 1, 2014 and two years of probation. Dennard was arrested again in July 2013 for suspicion of driving under the influence, which was ruled as a violation of his probation, and he was given an extra 30 days in jail and another year of probation.

Dennard was released after 38 days for good behavior after spending 35 days in the Lancaster County Adult Detention Facility in Nebraska this year.

On Wednesday, his second day back on the practice field after missing spring OTAs and minicamp, Dennard spoke to the media for the first time since he was released from jail in April.

“It’s a very good feeling,” Dennard said. “Just move forward, just moving forward. It’€™s all about football now. Just trying to provide for my family.”

Dennard began training camp on the physically unable to perform list before getting cleared to practice on Tuesday. He only practiced for an hour Wednesday before working on his conditioning. He admitted that he is still a ways from being a full-go in practice.

“It’€™s been very tough because I just want to go out there and compete with my teammates and learn from the older guys,” Dennard said. “I’€™m just taking it one day at a time. I’€™m feeling better and better every day.”

Does watching Wednesday’s on-field scuffle between Brandon Browner and Kenbrell Thompkins get his juices going?

“Oh yeah,” Dennard said. “That’s part of football and part of our secondary. That’s what the coaches are always bragging about, trying to be a physical defense. That’s what we’re trying to get done.

“Everybody is competitive on D. That’s what coaches look for so everybody is competitive.”

This is an important time for Dennard, who is likely battling Logan Ryan for a starting corner job in the first four weeks as Browner serves his four-game suspension. When does Dennard think he’ll be back part of the competition?

“I can’t say right now,” Dennard said. “It’s just a day-by-day process. Just trying to take it day-by-day, just trying to get better and better every day. Hopefully, it plays out just [right].”

Read More: 2014 training camp, Alfonzo Dennard, New England Patriots,
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