Patriots

Brady 'flattered' to be in MVP discussion

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Brady 'flattered' to be in MVP discussion

On the last play of the third quarter, with the Patriots leading 28-7, Tom Brady urged the crowd to raise its cheers a decibel level. After his first down run, he pumped his fist and screamed. His excitement almost caught the crowd off guard -- the game seemed in hand -- but it responded in kind.

After a few seconds of raucous noise, the chants wafted from the Gillette Stadium seats: "M-V-P! M-V-P! . . . "

On Brady's radio interview with Dennis and Callahan on Tuesday morning, he admitted he heard the chants.

"I heard it. I'm very flattered to even be considered for something like that," Brady said of the MVP award. "Honestly, the most important thing for me is winning games and enjoying it with my teammates. Everything that I do is dependent on them, on the group of guys that I play with, and the successful years we've had with our team has been all about team football. That's what our team has been built on, and that's what our team is about."

It has to do with his coaches, too. Brady praised Bill Belichick and the rest of the coaching staff for their job in preparing the Patriots before Monday night's game.

"Coach Belichick does that better than anybody who has ever coached," said Brady. "And coach McDaniels does that better than any offensive coordinator I've ever been with, and Matt Patricia gets those guys ready on defense. That's complementary football, that is Patriots football."

Brady appeared as prepared as anyone, going 21-for-35 with 296 yards and four touchdowns. Not bad for a guy who had a baby earlier in the week.

His wife Gisele Bundchen gave birth to a baby girl, Vivian, at home on Wednesday.

"Not difficult at all, to tell you the truth," said Brady. "We had an extra day to prepare, and I tried to get ahead. I've always been trying to get ahead these last few weeks. When our little girl came I was where I needed to be, so it was just great. She was born at night and I was able to go in the next night and miss just a little bit of the meetings in the morning and get right to work. Everything was taken care of at home."

Brady will play his hometown team on Sunday night. He's already watched tape on the San Francisco 49ers and he explained that New England will face another test when it sees the Niners defense.

"One of the best that I've ever seen," Brady said. "Physical, extremely physical in the secondary with the safeties, two safeties who arephenomenalplayers inDashon Goldson andDonte Whitner, good solid group of corners, two of the best linebackers inNaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis, guys that can rush the quarterback in Justin Smith and Aldon Smith. They can rush, they can cover, they can stop the run, they can blitz. They really allow their guys to do things that they are good at. It's going to be fun, they've got a great group, I haven't played the 49ers in a long time and I'm always excited to play the 49ers."

Patriots-Falcons practice report: No changes for Pats

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Patriots-Falcons practice report: No changes for Pats

Thursday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Falcons game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
CB Stephon Gilmore (concussion/ankle)
LB Harvey Langi (back)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
RB Rex Burkhead (ribs)
WR Chris Hogan (ribs)
G Shaq Mason (shoulder)

ATLANTA FALCONS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
LB Jordan Tripp

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
OLB Vic Beasley Jr. (hamstring)
K Matt Bryant (back)
LB Jermaine Grace (hamstring)
LB Deion Jones (quadricep)
DE Takk McKinley (shoulder)
LB Duke Riley (knee)
WR Mohamed Sanu (hamstring)
DL Courtney Upshaw (ankle/knee)

Agent doesn't expect Gordon Hayward to return this season, but foresees full recovery

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Agent doesn't expect Gordon Hayward to return this season, but foresees full recovery

PHILADELPHIA --  Only hours removed from surgery to repair a dislocated left ankle and fractured fibia injury, Gordon Hayward’s agent tells NBC Sports Boston that his client is already attacking the rehab process.
 
“We expect him to have a full recovery,” agent Mark Bartelstein said via phone Thursday.
 
That said, Bartelstein also noted that it’s unlikely that the 6-foot-8 forward will return to action this season.
 
“We don’t have a timetable or anything like that for him,” Bartelstein said. “It’s about getting better, healthier every day.”
 
The Celtics released a statement Thursday afternoon indicating Hayward underwent successful “bony and ligamentous stabilization surgery for the fracture dislocation of his left ankle.”
 
Performing the surgery was Drs. Mark Slovenkai and Brian McKeon at New England Baptist Hospital, with Dr. Anthony Schena assisting followed by consultations with Dr. David Porter of Methodist Sports Medicine in Indianapolis.
 
Hayward suffered the injury in the first quarter of Boston’s 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday when he was attempting to catch a lob pass from Kyrie Irving.
 
On the play, Hayward landed awkwardly on his ankle, which contorted in a way where it was clear immediately that he would be out of action for a significant amount of time.
 
Since the injury, Hayward has received an amazing amount of outpouring of well-wishes and prayers from Kobe Bryant, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and a cast of other current and former athletes. Both Edelman and Gronkowski know all too well about the challenges associated with returning to play after an injury.
 
"Go into rehab just like you go into anything else: dominate it," Gronkowski said. "Come back when you feel ready. Come back when you’re 100 percent. He wouldn’t be where he is now if he wasn’t a hard worker.”
 
And then there are the Celtics fans, whose support has been impressive.
 
Hayward delivered a pre-recorded message to the fans at the TD Garden that was aired on the Jumbotron high above half court prior to Wednesday night’s game against Milwaukee. Even after the video ended, there was no escaping Hayward’s presence was still very much in the building and on the minds of fans.
 
At one point in the 108-100 Celtics loss on Wednesday, Boston fans began a “Gor-don Hay-ward!” chant that soon swept its way throughout the TD Garden.
 
“It has been a bit overwhelming the amount of support that Gordon has received,” Bartelstein said. “It touched him in so many ways. The outpouring he got, certainly all the fans in the arena last night, from players around the league … it meant the world to him. And obviously, going through something like this, it’s devastating. So, to see so many reach out to him, it means the world to him and his family; there’s no doubt about it.”