Patriots

Brady not getting sentimental about WR battle

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Brady not getting sentimental about WR battle

FOXBORO -- Everybody can't stay. That's the bottom line.

The Patriots have more talented and accomplished wide receivers in camp than available roster spots.

The team will likely keep four players whose sole job is wide receiver. Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker are on the team.

A good player -- and a guy who's got history with this organization -- is going to go. Might be Deion Branch. Might be Donte Stallworth. Might be Jabar Gaffney.

But it probably has to be one of them.

Asked about this battle for survival shaping up between friends, Tom Brady was almost emphatic in explaining why it has to be this way.

"I think competition is good for all of us," he began. "I think its up to everyone to earn the spot. You have to earn it every year. I think the one thing about this place is theres no entitlement to the positions out here. You do it based on what you earn and thats why you come out here every day working hard to develop that trust from your coaches and your teammates so that they want you out there.

"And part of being a team player is doing whats best for the team and if someone is better than you, then its better for the team for that person to play," Brady continued. "Thats why you come out here and you work hard. You work hard in the offseason to be prepared and you work hard in training camp to get an opportunity and then you work hard once you get an opportunity to take advantage of your opportunity."

So far in this camp, Stallworth is the backup to Lloyd, while Gaffney and Branch battle for the third wideout spot.

Gaffney is taking most of the reps with the presumed first team. Gaffney and Branch have not been seen on the field at the same time, amplifying the fact they are in direct competition. Money doesn't really enter into the equation with these guys. Gaffney is on a two-year deal valued at 2.3 million with a 250,000 bonus. Branch signed a one-year, 1.325 million deal in March. And Stallworth signed a one-year, 875,000 contract.

Branch, one of the most likable Patriots of the glory years and a brilliant sidekick to Brady for so long, is 33. He's up against it.

Brady the quarterback, cannot afford to get sentimental.

"The more good football players you have on the team, the better you're going to be," he reasoned. "Its better to have guys competing for spots than hoping guys were better than what they are. Its better to have a lot of good players than not have a lot of good players. Weve got some depth at the receiver position; I dont know how its going to sort out, but based on what we do out here on the field, thats everybodys opportunity: quarterback, running back, receiver, tight end. I mean, weve got a lot of competition at a lot of positions."

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

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Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

NEW YORK - Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.

Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.

The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:

"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills.

Lynch finished the game with two carries for 9 yards.

The Raiders rallied to win 31-30 on a touchdown pass by Carr on the final play, and Lynch was in the locker room after the game congratulating his teammates.

Lynch came out of retirement this season and was traded from Seattle to the Raiders. Lynch said he wanted to make a comeback so he could give something back to his hometown of Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.

Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.

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Patriots-Falcons injury report: Gilmore, Rowe out

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Patriots-Falcons injury report: Gilmore, Rowe out

As expected, after not practicing all week, Patriots cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (concussion) and Eric Rowe (groin) have been ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

The full Patriots and Falcons injury report: