|Tom Brady takes the field in Cleveland with Jimmy Garoppolo||10.09.16 at 12:19 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — With thousands of fans cheering his appearance, Tom Brady raced onto the field for the first time this season just after noon Sunday as part of pregame warmups.
Brady and his back-up Jimmy Garoppolo raced from the east side of FirstEnergy Stadium to the west end, at which point he pointed to the Patriots fans in the stands down near the field and pumped his fist.
The Patriots fans around the stadium then started chanting “Let’s Go Brady.”
Garoppolo is also active for the first time since spraining the AC joint in his right shoulder against the Dolphins on Sept. 18 at Gillette Stadium.
The starting right tackle for the first four games missed practice on Thursday and was limited Friday before being designated inactive Sunday.
Cannon came out in warmups shortly after 10 a.m. and tested the calf with light jogging exercises.
Cameron Fleming will likely take his place on the starting offensive line.
Also inactive are Shea McCellin (concussion), Brandon Bolden (left knee), Vincent Valentine (back), cornerback Justin Coleman, tight end Greg Scruggs and defensive back Eric Rowe.
The designation of Coleman and Rowe as inactive means rookie Cyrus Jones will be the No. 3 corner on the field. The Browns are also on their third starting quarterback in rookie Cody Kessler. The Browns, at 222 yards, are tied with the Texans for the third-lowest net passing yards per game in the NFL after four weeks.
CLEVELAND — The moment has finally arrived.
Tom Brady is back on the football field after serving his four-game suspension.
There is no precipitation anticipated as the forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 60s for the 1 p.m. kickoff. Wind could be a factor, with a breeze off Lake Erie at 10-12 MPH.
The Patriots will be looking to rebound from a loss, something they have mastered in the Tom Brady era. Since the beginning of 2003, the Patriots are a remarkable 40-6 (.869) following a loss.
Today’s game is also the first of three straight against AFC North opponents, as they play the Browns, Bengals and Steelers in succession, with two of those three on the road.
As a matter of fact, following their three-game homestand, the Patriots begin a stretch where three of four games will be on the road.
Also returning today from a four-game suspension is defensive end Rob Ninkovich, who also is coming off a triceps injury. Ninkovich could have a big role in the defensive game plan as linebacker Shea McClellin is one of three early inactives with a concussion, sustained in last week’s loss to the Bills. Brandon Bolden will also miss the game with a left knee injury.
Ninkovich figures to have a big role in helping the pass rush as Jabaal Sheard has struggled at times to get to the quarterback. Sheard does lead the Patriots with three sacks in the first four games.
The game could also mark the debut of defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton, as he was signed off the practice squad on Saturday and takes the place of Vincent Valentine, who did not make the trip due to a back injury.
The Patriots also made room on their roster coming into the game by releasing offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper on Saturday. Cooper was the player acquired from Arizona in the Chandler Jones trade.
|Julian Edelman, Marcus Cannon among 9 questionable, Jacoby Brissett placed on IR||10.07.16 at 9:12 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots will be without three players this Sunday in Cleveland, including one that was placed on injured reserve.
Brandon Bolden (knee) and Shea McClellin (concussion) were ruled out for Sunday after not practicing all week. Jacoby Brissett, who was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, missed practice Friday with thumb surgery and was placed on injured reserve.
Meanwhile, Vincent Valentine (back) missed practice all week but is officially questionable for Sunday.
Julian Edelman (foot) was again limited in practice Friday while Marcus Cannon (calf) returned to practice after missing Thursday. He was limited. Edelman and Cannon are among nine Patriots listed officially as questionable for the game against the Browns.
Here is the complete practice report.
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
RB Brandon Bolden (knee) OUT
LB Shea McClellin (concussion) OUT
QB Jacoby Brissett (thumb) OUT – Injured Reserve
DL Vincent Valentine (back) QUESTIONABLE
OL Marcus Cannon (calf) QUESTIONABLE
RB LeGarrette Blount (hip) QUESITONABLE
WR Julian Edelman (foot) QUESTIONABLE
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE
LB Dont’a Hightower (knee) QUESTIONABLE
OL Joe Thuney (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
FOXBORO — There was a good reason for Jacoby Brissett’s absence from practice Friday.
The quarterback had surgery on his injured right thumb, after tearing a ligament in the thumb during the 27-0 win over the Texans on Sept. 22.
Friday’s procedure was first reported by Jim McBride of the Boston Globe, with a source later confirming to WEEI.com.
The source indicates the team was waiting for both Tom Brady’s return to the practice field and Jimmy Garoppolo to be healthy enough to be a back-up before signing off on the procedure to fix Brissett’s throwing thumb.
WEEI reported on Sept. 23 that Brissett had a torn ligament in the thumb and that surgery would likely be needed for the thumb to properly heal.
Texans nose tackle Vince Wilfork landed on Brissett early in the third quarter of the game Sept. 22. Brissett was injured but not badly enough to keep him from starting for a still-injured Garoppolo last Sunday against the Bills. Brissett was 17-of-27 for 205 yards in the 16-0 loss to the Bills.
Brady is set to make his return Sunday in Cleveland and Friday’s news indicates that Garoppolo is ready to assume his role as Brady’s back-up.
FOXBORO — Let the speculation continue with regard to Jacoby Brissett.
There has been plenty of talk that, with this week’s return of Tom Brady, the Patriots could send their third quarterback to injured reserve with his thumb injury. On Friday, Brissett was not seen during stretching at the start of practice, the first practice he’s missed since injuring his thumb against the Texans on Sept. 22. His absence could signal a move being made in the near future to open a spot.
The Patriots received two roster exemptions this week, one for Brady and another for Rob Ninkovich, both coming off four-game suspensions.
Also on Friday, Marcus Cannon (calf) and Julian Edelman (foot) were both in attendance. Cannon returned after missing practice on Thursday. Edelman was present after being added to the injury report on Thursday, when he was listed as limited in practice.
Linebacker Shea McClellin (concussion), running back Brandon Bolden (knee) and Vincent Valentine (back) all missed practice again Friday. All three players were absent the entire week are likely to miss this Sunday’s game in Cleveland.
|Bill Belichick cautions fans, media ‘experts’ not to judge Cyrus Jones (or anybody) too quickly||at 11:38 am ET|
FOXBORO — On a day filled with mistakes, last Sunday’s game against the Bills started out poorly when rookie Cyrus Jones hesitated on bringing the opening kick out of the end zone. He nearly took a knee at the 1. That first drive began at the Patriots 9.
On the very next kickoff, following a Bills touchdown, Jones looked awkward again, running into special teams captain Matthew Slater at the 14.
On the third kick and fourth kicks, following a pair of Bills field goals, Jones took the kicks in the end zone for touchbacks and received sarcastic cheers from the crowd for staying put. After the game, Slater took responsibility for leaving his rookie returner out to dry.
And on Friday, Bill Belichick, a mastermind of special teams, reaffirmed what Slater was saying: Fans and media shouldn’t be so quick to crush the rookie. Why was Jones left out there on the field and not pulled?
“Same thing that goes into everything I do, try to do what’s best for the team,” Belichick answered. “I’d say my advice to you and to the fans and everybody else is not to be too quick to decide who’s right and who’s wrong when you don’t really know what’s going on. That’s hard for me, too. If I watch something on another player on [another] team, I could see there’s a mistake. I’m not necessarily sure who made it.
“Obviously, something wasn’t done properly. That’s evident. What went wrong and why it went wrong and what’s the background of how it happened, if you’re not really part of the team, that’s a very hard thing to evaluate. I respect the experts that are out there. I know we have a lot of good ones but I know it’s very hard for me when I see a mistake on film that another team makes to identify exactly what the problem was because it could probably be one of two or three things. Unless you actually know what the call was, what they were taught to do, I don’t know if you really know who actually made the mistake.”
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