Player News - Patriots

Date: Team: Pos:

Patriots third-round DE Derek Rivers was sent back to Boston for further tests on his injured leg.

Rivers injured his left leg or knee during a joint practice with the Texans this week. The fact the Patriots are sending him home for tests suggests the injury could be serious, although the team may just be being careful with a player who was not going to play in the second preseason game anyway. With Rob Ninkovich retired, the Patriots have questions at defensive end.
Source: ESPN
Aug 17 - 10:24 AM

Patriots WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee) has so far been limited to individual drills at training camp.

It was reported earlier that Mitchell was practicing fully but so far that hasn't been the case. Perhaps if the Patriots had to do it over they would have started Mitchell on the PUP list, but he still has time to be ready for Week 1. Mitchell's ongoing knee issue has opened up more reps for Austin Carr and Devin Lucien.
Source: ESPN.com
Aug 13 - 9:17 AM

According to ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss, TE Dwayne Allen "seems more comfortable" with the offense than he did during OTAs.

This comes after Allen admitted to a "horrible" stint during OTAs. Allen wasn't happy with his conditioning, and opted to stay behind in Foxboro over the summer so he'd have a leg up in training camp. The ex-Colt looks to be in better shape now and is set up to be the Patriots' No. 2 tight end behind Rob Gronkowski. With so many mouths to feed in New England, Allen carries little fantasy appeal.
Source: ESPN.com
Aug 13 - 9:02 AM

Dion Lewis started and played into the second quarter of New England's preseason opener, rushing seven times for 32 yards.

He added four receptions for 23 yards. Lewis' extensive playing time was a bit surprising considering his injury history. It could be an indication he's fighting for his spot on the 53-man roster, though the Pats are dealing with a number of injuries in the backfield. Either way, Lewis looked good, running with a spring in his step. We'd guess Lewis will remain a Patriot come Week 1. Even in a crowded running back corps, his upside is too great.
Aug 10 - 10:27 PM

Jimmy Garoppolo played deep into the third quarter of the Patriots' preseason opener, completing 22-of-28 passes for 235 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.

It was a surprisingly-long outing for Tom Brady's backup. The stats look good, but Garoppolo was stuck in neutral against the Jaguars' first-team defense. The Patriots' first four drives generated an underwhelming 123 yards. Garoppolo took multiple third-down sacks and attempted to heave a deep interception. Playing with the Pats' reserves, he did carve up Jacksonville's 2s and 3s, however, showing good timing and accuracy. To keep Garoppolo for 2018, the Pats will either need to exercise the franchise tag or kick Tom Brady to the curb.
Aug 10 - 9:40 PM

Patriots fourth-round DL Deatrich Wise suffered a concussion in the team's preseason opener, and is week to week.

Wise went down in a heap early. A fourth-round rookie, he's competing for a rotational five-technique role along New England's defensive line.
Aug 10 - 9:00 PM

ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss believes DE Kony Ealy is "in a legitimate fight" for a roster spot.

Acquired via trade from the Panthers in March, the former second-round pick was expected to help replace Rob Ninkovich, but fourth-rounder Deatrich Wise Jr. has been getting most of the snaps with the starters. Reiss reports Ealy, on the other hand, has been "working mostly with the backups and end-of-roster players." Despite a dominating performance in Super Bowl 50, Ealy's career has never taken off, and it looks like his stay in New England could be a short one.
Source: ESPN
Aug 10 - 10:30 AM

The Patriots plan to sit Rob Gronkowski for their preseason opener.

Gronkowski has been full-go in training camp, but the Patriots aren't taking any chances in a meaningless game. Tom Brady and Brandin Cooks are also expected to be held out.
Aug 9 - 5:45 PM

Dion Lewis and James White were listed as the Patriots' starting running backs on the latest depth chart.

Rex Burkhead and Brandon Bolden are with the second team, while injured Mike Gillislee was listed with the threes. Depth charts at this time of year mean very little, but it's notable. Lewis' roster spot was brought into question during the spring. He has since solidified his job, with Bolden the least likely of the six to make the club. Burkhead being ahead of Gillislee is also a developing situation.
Aug 9 - 2:00 PM

Mike Gillislee has been sidelined for the past week with a hamstring injury.

It's hard to diligently acquire practice reports at this time of year since teams aren't required to release any during camp, but as far as we can tell, Gillislee has been out since August 2. He has been limited to side-field work and is listed as a third-team running back on the Patriots' latest depth chart, behind all four of Dion Lewis, James White, Rex Burkhead, and Brandon Bolden. Gillislee's ADP has gotten a bit out of hand recently. He remains a big risk-reward asset.
Aug 9 - 1:48 PM

According to the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe, Brandin Cooks has "put on a clinic" during joint practices with the Jaguars this week.

There has been a ton of Cooks buzz during camp. Not only has Cooks been roasting the Jaguars' defensive backs on deep balls, his understanding of the Patriots' complex offense and route tree have been excellent. He scored multiple long touchdowns this week and caught seven balls from Tom Brady on Monday. Cooks is one of the more interesting fantasy receivers this year. He's going to have monster weeks, but could also go quiet at times with so many options in New England.
Aug 9 - 9:18 AM

The Boston Globe's Ben Volin reports Tom Brady has targeted TE Dwayne Allen in the red zone "a ton" during training camp.

Volin characterized Allen as a "great fantasy sleeper." It is interesting Allen is going undrafted in fantasy after Martellus Bennett earned plenty of sleeper buzz in ostensibly the same role last season, and Allen has produced when given chances in the red zone throughout his career. There are worse ways to spend a late-round pick in best ball formats.
Aug 8 - 12:37 PM

CSN New England's Mike Giardi reports the Patriots "haven't been shy" about getting Rex Burkhead reps in short-yardage and goal-line situations.

The team already knows Burkhead can excel as a pass catcher, but coach Bill Belichick wants more diversity out of his running backs, which has led to Burkhead getting goal-line reps. He's the one back in New England who has a full three-down skill set. While Mike Gillislee remains the favorite for the LeGarrette Blount role, Burkhead shouldn't be written off. As Giardi notes, in free agency, "Burkhead was chased by Belichick and Belichick alone."
Aug 4 - 9:45 AM

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said "there’s definitely some similarities" between Shea McClellin's and Rob Ninkovich's "skill sets."

"I mean, they both played on the line in college," Belichick said. "Shea’s probably played a little more off the line than Rob has, but Rob’s played off the line, too." The coach also praised McClellin for being "a very valuable and versatile guy." The comparison and praise are notable after Ninkovich retired over the weekend. McClellin should compete with the likes of Kony Ealy, Geneo Grissom, and rookie Derek Rivers to fill Ninkovich's old role.
Aug 1 - 12:28 PM

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the team was looking for more versatility in the backfield this offseason.

Because LeGarrette Blount was not a threat in the passing game and James White was not a threat as a runner, Belichick thought the offense was a little too predictable last year. "I think (Rex) Burkhead has ability on all four downs. I think (Mike) Gillislee maybe has a little more overall versatility," the coach said. "So hopefully with our backs this year we'll have a little more balance and be a little less predictable from that spot." Gillislee is the favorite to take over the "Blount role," but it sounds like the Patriots want him to be more involved in the passing game than Blount, who recorded 19 receptions in 49 games with New England. If he is able to win the goal-line work, Gillislee will have high-end fantasy upside.
Source: ESPN
Aug 1 - 8:34 AM


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