Player News - Patriots

Date: Team: Pos:

Tom Brady (back) is expected to play Thursday night against the Eagles.

Brady was held out of the preseason opener with a minor back injury, although it is likely he would have skipped the game regardless of his health. Brady would not be playing in the second preseason game if the back was really an issue, so it is safe to assume he is 100 percent.
Aug 16 - 10:26 AM

Rex Burkhead (undisclosed) will not play Thursday against the Eagles.

Burkhead also sat out the preseason opener. It is a concern for a player who was limited to just 10 games last season, but there is still no indication he is dealing with a serious injury. Jeremy Hill and Mike Gillislee will get another shot to stake their claim to a roster spot.
Aug 16 - 10:18 AM

Eric Decker has struggled with drops since joining the Patriots.

Decker reportedly dropped the first pass Tom Brady threw him last week, dropped two more on Sunday, and committed three drops on Monday. "It’s part of the game. We’re all human," Decker said. "I’ve played a lot of football. I’ve had a few drops in my day. I have many catches as well. I know how to bounce back and get to it." Decker did bounce back to finish Monday's session strong, but he is clearly experiencing some growing pains. Unfortunately, he does not have very long to work out the kinks.
Aug 14 - 9:21 AM

Tom Brady (back) said he "absolutely" expects to play in the second preseason game.

Brady was held out of the preseason opener with a sore back, but the quarterback says he is fine. "I am doing really well," Brady said. "You just always have little things that you’re working through. That is part of football season, but I feel really good." If he suits up on Thursday night, Brady will not see more than a handful of snaps.
Source: WEEI
Aug 14 - 9:13 AM

Rex Burkhead (undisclosed) did not practice Monday.

Burkhead was limited last Wednesday, did not play in the preseason opener, and has not practiced since. There is no reason to believe he is dealing with a serious issue at this point, but the missed time is a concern for a player who was limited to 10 games last season. With Sony Michel (knee) also out, Jeremy Hill and Mike Gillislee are handling the bulk of the backfield work.
Source: MassLive
Aug 13 - 10:13 AM

NESN's Doug Kyed reports Eric Decker is "still having a pretty hard time" during training camp.

Kyed mentions two incidents from Monday's practice -- he pushed off on his first target and dropped his second -- but the use of "still" in the tweet suggests this has been a recurring theme for Decker since joining the team a couple weeks ago. He could certainly turn things around, but Decker would not be the first veteran receiver to struggle after signing with the Patriots. Decker's contract includes just $75,000 in guaranteed money.
Aug 13 - 10:10 AM

Patriots RB Jeremy Hill was being used ahead of RB Mike Gillislee at camp Sunday.

Considered to have equal roles when camp initially opened, Hill has seemingly buoyed his 11-51-1 performance in Thursday's preseason opener into reps ahead of Gillislee. With Rex Burkhead battling an unspecified injury and Sony Michel (knee) still out, Hill has suddenly entered the picture as the Patriots' true No. 3 back behind the former two. James White will remain New England's passing and third-down back.
Aug 12 - 6:12 PM

ESPN Boston considers CB Jason McCourty in danger of getting cut.

The Patriots swapped late-round picks with the Browns for McCourty back in March. Despite coming off a strong year, he's repped with the second-team defense in training camp. McCourty doesn't offer much on special teams, so it's possible the Patriots keep Jonathan Jones and UDFA JC Jackson over him. Releasing McCourty would clear $2.97 million in cap space.
Source: ESPN Boston
Aug 11 - 3:05 PM

Tom Brady sat out Thursday's preseason opener against the Redskins with a sore back.

It's debatable whether Brady would have played anyway, though any injury to the best quarterback on the planet, no matter how minor, is still worth mentioning. Brady has seen fewer practice reps than normal while working through his injury, though he reportedly "ramped up" his activity at Wednesday's session. There's no concern over Brady's status for Week 1 against the Texans.
Aug 10 - 2:14 PM

Ralph Webb rushed 14 times for 46 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots' preseason opener.

He also recorded two two-point conversions. Jeremy Hill sliced through the Redskins' first-string defense for 11-51-1 on the ground, but it was Webb who out-performed Mike Gillislee (14-43) on Thursday. Webb (4.49 forty and 10-foot-2 broad jump at Vandy’s Pro Day) is undoubtedly the better athlete of the two, but he'll have to continue expanding his role and excelling on special teams if he hopes to force the Patriots' hand in cutting short-yard bruiser Gillislee. As it stands, Hill is the clear-cut No. 3 back behind Rex Burkhead and No. 31 overall pick Sony Michel.
Aug 10 - 12:15 AM

Patriots RB Jeremy Hill finished with 11 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown in Thursday's preseason opener versus the Redskins.

He also caught two passes for 14 yards. Hill has notoriously been competing for a roster spot with teammate Mike Gillislee throughout camp, but it was Hill who shined brightest Thursday. Gillislee slugged his way to a 14-43 rushing line (3.0 YPC) while undrafted free agent Ralph Webb mopped up the Redskins' fourth-string for 14-46-2 and two two-point conversions. As it stands, Hill is the clear-cut No. 3 behind Rex Burkhead and No. 31 overall pick Sony Michel.
Aug 10 - 12:07 AM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Patriots added $5 million in "performance-based incentives" to Tom Brady's contract.

It is similar to what the team did with Rob Gronkowski's contract last season. Owed just $14 million in base salary each of the next two year, Brady is making way less than he would on the open market. Schefter reports these incentives will get him closer to the market rate. The future Hall of Famer turned 41 last week.
Aug 9 - 12:29 PM

Eric Decker said playing for the Patriots is "quite an opportunity."

Veteran wide receivers have struggled at times to learn New England's offense, but Decker's experience with OC Josh McDaniels gives him a leg up. "I know he has recall from some of the things that we do that Josh did at Denver," coach Bill Belichick said. "There’s a lot of differences, but there’s certainly a lot of carryover." With Julian Edelman suspended to start the season, Decker could have a big early role if he is able to learn the offense.
Aug 9 - 9:32 AM

The Boston Globe's Ben Volin projected Mike Gillislee to make the Patriots' 53-man roster.

Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, and James White are locks, but the spot behind them remains in question. Jeremy Hill could push for a job with a strong preseason, but Gillislee is the clear favorite right now. Of course, New England could decide to keep just three backs if Michel is healthy.
Aug 7 - 10:38 AM

The Boston Globe's Ben Volin left Kenny Britt off his 53-man roster projection.

Britt has been sidelined throughout camp because of a hamstring injury. That, the signing of Eric Decker, and Phillip Dorsett's surprising play are not helping his cause, but the Patriots are too thin at receiver to count anyone out. Still, Britt needs to get back on the field in a hurry.
Aug 7 - 10:36 AM


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