Patriots

Bounce-back day for Butler in practice vs. Saints

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Bounce-back day for Butler in practice vs. Saints

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. - No sugarcoating the kind of day Malcolm Butler had Wednesday in joint practice with the Saints. He stunk. And not just in one period, but from the first time he tried to cover Josh Morgan in 1-on-1’s right on down to 11-on-11 when Brandon Coleman and both Josh and Joe Morgan took turns working Butler over like he was a guy on the roster bubble, not a starting left cornerback for the defending Super Bowl champs. It was the first real misstep of Butler’s otherwise strong training camp.

“No excuses. You win some, you lose some,” said Butler. “I’ve just gotta keep moving forward, come out here - came out here today - try to redeem myself. Even the great ones have bad days. it’s all about learning, moving forward, getting better and competing.”

Butler did that, not to perfection, but he looked more like a starter in this league Thursday than a guy on the bubble. In 11-on-11’s, he locked down Marques Colston and that helped created a coverage sack of Drew Brees. He also had a nice recovery after getting beaten off the line of scrimmage by Colston in red zone work. rising up to disrupt a sure touchdown pass in the back right corner of the end zone. That prompted a brief flurry of enthusiasm from Butler and some strong, encouraging words from linebacker Jamie Collins.

“Guys are going to try me just like any other cornerback,” said Butler. “Just gotta try and be ready."

Butler didn’t get enough snaps last season to be as mentally tested as it appears he will be this season, as the clear cut choice at left corner. That means the 2nd year pro will need to learn how to forgive and forget, if you will.

“It’s just like life,” said Butler. “You have mistakes. You got to keep moving forward.”

Tarell Brown has spent eight years in this league. That’s an eternity, especially at a taxing position like corner. He believes short-term memory - or lack thereof - can make or break a player.

“You can’t let one play determine the whole outcome of your game because you’re going to have another opportunity to make a play on the ball,” said Brown. “For us, we always say forget about it, learn from your mistakes and get back to work. It’s staying fundamentally sound on and off the field, making the corrections in the film room and just going out there every day just to compete. These guys get paid as well. They get paid to make good catches. They’re in the NFL for a reason.”

So is Butler and it’s for more than just a moment in the Super Bowl. He’d be wise to heed the words of a sage veteran like Brown and maybe he’ll stick around just as long and reach the potential that the Pats clearly see in him.

 

 

Doctors believe Carson Wentz has torn ACL

Doctors believe Carson Wentz has torn ACL

LOS ANGELES - Two sources familiar with the injury tell The Associated Press that doctors believe Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in a win over the Rams on Sunday and will miss the rest of the season and playoffs.

Wentz, a favorite in the NFL MVP race, will have an MRI on Monday to confirm the severity of the injury. Both people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information. Wentz left the stadium on a cart with a brace on his left leg.

"I don't know anything until we evaluate him (Monday)," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said.

Wentz was hurt late in the third quarter of Philadelphia's 43-35 comeback win at Los Angeles . Backup Nick Foles rallied the Eagles (11-2) to a win that secured the NFC East title and put them in first place in the conference with three games remaining.

"Everyone is really excited about the win but you have your starting quarterback go down, it's emotional," Foles said. "It's emotional for me. I work with him every day so I'm dealing with that."

Wentz was hit hard as he scrambled into the end zone on a play that was called back because of holding. He stayed in the game and threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery four plays later , setting the franchise record for most TD passes in a season with 33.

"It shows how tough he is," Pederson said.

Foles replaced Wentz the next drive after the Rams took a 35-31 lead. He led the Eagles to a pair of field goals on consecutive drives. Second-year pro Nate Sudfeld is Philadelphia's No. 3 quarterback.

Wentz arrived in Philadelphia as the No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft out of North Dakota State. On Sunday, he dueled with Rams quarterback Jared Goff, the No. 1 pick in that draft.

After starting all 16 games as a rookie, Wentz made a giant leap this season. He passed for 3,296 yards and only seven interceptions to go with those 33 TDs.

Despite the injury, Wentz stayed in the locker room to greet teammates after the victory over the Rams (9-4).

After the game, Wentz's left knee was wrapped in a brace. He was driven in a cart up the tunnel at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and then hobbled to one of the team buses

"He's one of the leaders on the team. He was there congratulating and celebrating with everyone," Foles said.

Foles, a third-round pick by former Eagles coach Andy Reid in 2012, is in his second stint in Philadelphia. He replaced an injured Michael Vick in 2013 and led the Eagles to an NFC East title during Chip Kelly's first season as coach. Foles tied an NFL record with seven TD passes in a game at Oakland in November 2013 and finished that season with 27 TDs and only two picks. The Eagles lost at home to New Orleans in the playoffs. Foles went to the Pro Bowl and was the offensive MVP.

But Kelly traded Foles to St. Louis for Sam Bradford after the 2014 season. Foles spent a year with the Rams, a season with the Chiefs and returned to Philadelphia as a free agent this season.

"I'm absolutely ready to go - need be," Foles said. "I prepare every day."

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