Player News - Patriots

Date: Team: Pos:

The Patriots have reinstated suspended DT Alan Branch.

Branch's team-imposed ban lasted one week. A reason was never provided. With his relationship with the team apparently shaky, Branch could be a candidate for release, but it's unlikely as the Pats scramble for D-line depth. Branch was a valuable run stuffer in 2015.
Aug 25 - 4:43 PM

The Patriots are sending their 2017 fifth-round pick to the Browns in the Barkevious Mingo trade.

It's a surprising price, as Mingo seemed unlikely to make the Browns' 53-man roster. It means he's guaranteed to make the Pats, and should see immediate snaps as a reserve on defense. Mingo had mostly been flashing on special teams in Browns camp. Drafted by longtime Bill Belichick advisor Mike Lombardi, Mingo is going to get the benefit of the doubt for the Patriots, who have a majorly banged up front seven. It's still highly unlikely the light flips on for the 2013 first-rounder.
Aug 25 - 3:17 PM

Patriots acquired DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo from the Browns.

The return compensation is unclear, but like many August trades, it's probably a conditional day-three pick. The No. 6 overall pick of the 2013 draft, Mingo has been a comprehensive bust, tallying seven career sacks, only two of which have come in the past two seasons. The Pats are low on edge depth, however, and Mingo was drafted by former Patriots associate Michael Lombardi in Cleveland. He'll start on special teams and fight for snaps on defense.
Aug 25 - 2:00 PM

Rob Gronkowski (undisclosed) returned to practice Wednesday after missing the previous nine days.

Gronkowski "pulled up lame" on August 15, and that's all the media was able to glean from the "injury," though NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the issue, whatever it was, was minor. The Patriots have no reason to push Gronk through summer practices. He'll be fine for the Week 1 opener.
Aug 24 - 3:23 PM

Tom Brady said he could have played through the cut on his thumb.

"I wanted to go and Coach said it’s probably best, for what I was going to do, to just take it easy," Brady said. A picture taken during the press conference appeared to show the equivalent of a nick on Brady's right thumb. The future Hall of Famer returned to practice Tuesday.
Aug 23 - 12:39 PM

Patriots DE Jabaal Sheard has a sprained MCL.

Sheard suffered the injury in the first preseason game on August 11. MCL sprains usually carry a two-to-four week timetable, so it is likely he will be ready for the season opener on September 11. With Chandler Jones now in Arizona, Sheard is perhaps the most important asset on the defensive line. The Patriots need him healthy.
Aug 23 - 10:16 AM

Tom Brady (lacerated thumb) returned to practice Tuesday.

Brady missed the second preseason game after slicing open his right thumb with a pair of scissors before the game, but he missed practice the last two days for a non-injury related reason. When asked about the absence, coach Bill Belichick said, "I don't comment on personal situations." Either way, Brady is back now, and he should be fully healthy well before Week 5.
Source: ESPN
Aug 23 - 9:02 AM

Rob Gronkowski has not practiced since pulling up lame with an undisclosed injury on August 15.

It's possible the Patriots are simply playing it extremely carefully with Gronk, who has been spotted by reporters since and "showed no noticeable signs of an injury." NFL Network's Ian Rapoport previously reported Gronk's injury is "minor," but we will continue to monitor him until he resumes practicing.
Source: ESPN Boston
Aug 22 - 4:19 PM

ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss reports Malcolm Mitchell has been practicing with a "large brace" on his elbow.

Mitchell suffered a dislocated elbow in the preseason opener, but he returned to the practice field just four days later. Mitchell has been limited somewhat in practice, but it looks like he will be ready for Week 1. Mitchell is the favorite for the Patriots' "X" receiver job.
Source: ESPN
Aug 22 - 9:05 AM

The Boston Herald reports Dion Lewis' knee surgery will sideline him for 8-10 weeks.

The procedure is viewed as "relatively minor," but was required following Lewis' ACL tear last November. He was presumably dealing with loose particles in the knee. A source told the Herald that Lewis still "has a good chance of playing in 2016," even if he is likely to open on the season on reserve/PUP. The Herald adds that James White "has had the best summer of his three-year career."
Aug 21 - 5:04 PM

James White is expected to open the season as the Patriots' primary passing-game back.

This results from Dion Lewis' second knee surgery, which will likely keep him on reserve/PUP for the first six games. Lewis should be scratched off draft boards in most leagues. White becomes an intriguing mid- to late-round pick in PPR drafts after he piled up 37 catches in the Patriots' final eight games last year, including the playoffs. We would recommend against overdrafting White, however, as he may begin to go off the board aggressively immediately following the Lewis news. White will have to play his first four games with Jimmy Garoppolo and is a major talent downgrade from Lewis. He'll be a low-end RB2/flex option to open the season in PPR, but has next to no value in standard leagues.
Aug 21 - 2:00 PM

The Boston Herald's Jeff Howe expects Patriots RT Sebastian Vollmer (hip, shoulder) to open the season on the reserve/PUP list.

Vollmer is eligible for reserve/PUP because he's spent all of camp on active/PUP. Leaving him on reserve/PUP makes more sense than I.R. because the Patriots could bring back Vollmer if he's healthy after six games. Vollmer being healthy by that point does sound unlikely, however, based on the latest reports. Marcus Cannon is No. 2 on the Patriots' right tackle depth chart.
Aug 21 - 1:44 PM

Dion Lewis' second knee procedure will be a "clean-up" surgery.

It's an important distinction and it leaves the door open for a return later this season. It's still likely Lewis will open 2016 on the reserve/PUP list, which would cost him at least the first six games. Receiving back James White will get a lot more usage with Lewis sidelined.
Aug 21 - 12:56 PM

Patriots OG Shaq Mason is out indefinitely with a broken hand.

Mason was competing for one of New England's starting guard openings. Because he opened camp healthy, Mason will not be eligible for the reserve/PUP list. The Patriots will have to make a tough decision on him at final cuts.
Aug 21 - 12:23 PM

Patriots RT Sebastian Vollmer will reportedly be placed on injured reserve with a nagging hip injury.

It's been a rough morning for the Pats with Dion Lewis slated to undergo a second knee surgery and now Vollmer appearing unlikely to play this season. It's a big blow to an offensive line that struggled to protect Tom Brady in last year's playoffs. Marcus Cannon is a candidate to take over for Vollmer.
Aug 21 - 12:20 PM


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