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How big a difference will Sebastian Vollmer make in return? ‘I’m preparing myself to play’ 01.13.16 at 9:54 pm ET
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Sebastian Vollmer (76) could be a huge factor in giving Tom Brady time to throw Saturday. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Sebastian Vollmer (76) could be a huge factor in giving Tom Brady time to throw Saturday. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

FOXBORO — The moment Sebastian Vollmer went down in the first quarter against the Jets on Dec. 27, the Patriots offensive line became weaker.

And Tom Brady became more vulnerable in the pocket. With an offensive line of Cameron Fleming, Josh Kline, Bryan Stork, Tre’ Jackson and Marcus Cannon, Brady was sacked twice and took several big hits in a 20-10 loss to the Dolphins in the season finale.

That’s why the return of the left tackle from a left ankle injury could be as significant as that of Julian Edelman for the Patriots against Kansas City this Saturday.

“I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m preparing myself to play and the rest we’ll find out on Saturday,” Vollmer said Wednesday.

As he was being carted off the field at MetLife Stadium, many watching figured his season was done. But when he got the news that it was just a sprain, he was relieved.

“That’s in the past. It doesn’t matter now,” Vollmer said Wednesday when asked about his thoughts when he was being driven off the turf and into the Patriots locker room.

What does matter is how much Vollmer, if he does return at close to full strength, can help with the likes of pass rushers Tamba Hali (thumb), Justin Houston (knee) and Dee Ford, with Hali and Houston both dealing with injuries this season.

“It’s the playoffs. I don’t think anyone is 100 percent out there,” Vollmer said. “It’s just part of the game. It’s a physical game. He’s a force out there. He has been a long time. He’s given us a lot of problems, he’s given a lot of guys problems. Houston on the other side, and [Dee] Ford and whoever it is. They’re all good. They’re fourth in sacks this year and it shows.”

The Chiefs had 47 sacks this season with Houston (7.5), Hali (6.5) and Jaye Howard (5.5) combining for 19.5 of them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2016 NFL playoffs, Josh Kline, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots
Julian Edelman reportedly expected back for divisional round 01.03.16 at 10:31 am ET
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — If all goes according to plan, Sunday will be the last game the Patriots play without Julian Edelman.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Edelman is on track to return for the divisional round, which would be either January 16 or 17. The Patriots have been without him since he suffered a broken bone in his foot against the Giants Nov. 15.

Schefter adds Sebastian Vollmer is also expected back for the divisional round. He injured his ankle last week against the Jets and is inactive against the Dolphins.

With a win against the Dolphins on Sunday, the Patriots clinch the AFC’s No. 1 overall seed. They have already clinched a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.

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

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Read More: Julian Edelman, Sebastian Vollmer,
Rob Ninkovich, Jonathan Freeny return to practice, Sebastian Vollmer still absent 12.31.15 at 11:34 am ET
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Tom Brady and Julian Edelman stretch before practice Thursday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Tom Brady and Julian Edelman stretch before practice Thursday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — In a sign that they could be ready to play Sunday if needed, linebackers Rob Ninkovich (shin) and Jonathan Freeny (hand) returned to practice Thursday in sweats and shells outside Gillette Stadium.

The only two players not spotted were left tackle Sebastian Vollmer and defensive back Justin Coleman. Vollmer injured his left ankle last Sunday in the first quarter of the loss to the Jets while Coleman is still undergoing concussion protocol from last week’s game.

Freeny and Patrick Chung were wearing red non-contact jerseys during the media portion of the workout, which was limited to stretching. It was the second straight day Chung was on hand wearing the red jersey.

Mother nature cooperated for the final practice in Foxboro for 2015 as the lower grass field was splashed with sunshine and temperatures in the upper 40s.

The team conducted Thursday’s practice for Foxboro before scheduling their departure for South Florida later in the afternoon. The team will practice Friday in the Fort Lauderdale area for a final time before taking on the 5-10 Dolphins Sunday at Sun Life Stadium.

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

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Read More: Jonathan Freeny, Justin Coleman, New England Patriots, Rob Ninkovich
Dont’a Hightower, Julian Edelman among 9 limited at Patriots practice 12.30.15 at 4:25 pm ET
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Dont'a Hightower

Dont’a Hightower

FOXBORO — The Patriots are clearly banged up going into the regular-season finale Sunday against the Dolphins.

Four players didn’t practice at all on Wednesday, while nine were limited, including Dont’a Hightower, who wasn’t spotted during the media availability period. Also among the limited were Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and Scott Chandler.

Rob Ninkovich, Jonathan Freeny, Sebastian Vollmer and Justin Coleman didn’t practice at all.

Defensive end Chandler Jones was a full participant with an abdomen injury.

Here is the complete Patriots injury report:

DID NOT PRACTICE

DE Rob Ninkovich (leg)
DB Justin Coleman (concussion)
LB Jonathan Freeny (hand)
OT Sebastian Vollmer (ankle)

LIMITED PARTICIPANT

WR Danny Amendola (knee)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
TE Scott Chandler (knee)
S Patrick Chung (foot)
S Devin McCourty (ankle)
LB Dont’a Hightower (knee)
WR Brandon LaFell (foot)
G Josh Kline (shoulder)
OT LaAdrian Waddle (shoulder)

FULL PARTICIPANT

DE Chandler Jones (abdomen)

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Read More: Dont'a Hightower, Rob Ninkovich, Sebastian Vollmer,
Dont’a Hightower, Rob Ninkovich missing from Patriots practice at 1:05 pm ET
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Dont'a Hightower

Dont’a Hightower

FOXBORO — The Patriots had six players missing at practice on Wednesday.

Dont’a Hightower, Rob Ninkovich, Sebastian Vollmer, Justin Coleman, Jonathan Freeny and Troy Hill were all missing. Ninkovich, Vollmer and Coleman were all injured in Sunday’s loss to the Jets, while Hightower went into the game injured and acknowledged Monday he isn’t 100 percent.

Defensive tackle Ishmaa’ily Kitchen was present at practice, so he is likely on the 53-man roster and Hill, who was claimed on Christmas, was released to create a spot.

Safety Patrick Chung was present, but wearing a red non-contact jersey, as the team was practicing in full pads. Wide receivers Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman, who both missed last weeks game, were present.

The first injury report of the week will be released later in the afternoon.

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

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Read More: Dont'a Hightower, Rob Ninkovich, Sebastian Vollmer,
Report: Sebastian Vollmer ankle injury not considered serious, will be back for playoffs 12.29.15 at 4:25 pm ET
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For once this season, the Patriots may have caught a break with an injury.

After being carted off the field Sunday against the Jets, it appears Sebastian Vollmer has dodged a bullet, as according to CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran, Vollmer’s ankle injury isn’t considered serious and he will be back for the playoffs.

Vollmer is expected to miss this week’s game in Miami, though.

The Patriots’ offensive tackle was injured on the Patriots’ opening drive against the Jets when running back Joey Iosefa landed on his left ankle.

This is great news for the Patriots, as Vollmer is their most experienced and arguably best offensive lineman.

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

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Read More: Sebastian Vollmer,
Sebastian Vollmer carted off, ruled out with leg injury 12.27.15 at 1:29 pm ET
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The injury news just got a whole lot worse for the Patriots.

On the first drive of the game, with the team facing a third-and-1, Sebastian Vollmer went down with a lower leg injury after run for no gain by Joey Iosefa. Doctors immediately tended to Vollmer, focusing on the area around his left ankle for several minutes before the veteran lineman hopped to his feet on one leg and was taken off the field on a cart.

As the Jets were marching down the field on the ensuing drive, the team announced the starting left tackle would not be returning and was out for the game.

The Patriots have already lost one starting tackle this season when Nate Solder suffered a biceps injury during the Cowboys game on Oct. 11. Vollmer was moved over from right to starting left tackle full-time for the Broncos game, where he has played since Nov. 29.

LaAdrian Waddle, claimed off waivers from the Lions on Dec. 16, replaced Vollmer at left tackle.

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

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Read More: New England Patriots, New York Jets, Sebastian Vollmer,
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