Sheard sees season-low 16 plays vs. Seahawks: 'I'm just upset we lost'

Sheard sees season-low 16 plays vs. Seahawks: 'I'm just upset we lost'

FOXBORO -- In Sunday night's 31-24 loss to the Seahawks, the Patriots used defensive end Jabaal Sheard on just 16 defensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. It was the lowest snap-count total he's seen since he injured his ankle after 15 snaps against the Colts last season. 

Sheard sat almost the entire first quarter as he watched fellow defensive ends Rob Ninkovich, Chris Long and Trey Flowers log more regular reps. He was asked after the game if he was surprised by his usage, or if it had been conveyed to him that he would have a reduced role as part of the game plan.


"That's just the game, man," Sheard said. "[That's] how the game goes . . . I'm just upset we lost, man. Try to bounce back and get ready for San Fran next week."

Asked if he felt as though he needed to do anything to prove to the coaching staff that he deserved more playing time, Sheard replied, "Just focus on San Fran, man. That's all I can do. Go out there and practice good this week."

Sheard suffered a knee injury during the preseason that limited his reps in training camp, but he has not been on the injury report of late, and he suffered no apparent injuries against the Seahawks. 

Last season, as part of a three-man rotation with Ninkovich and Chandler Jones, Sheard recorded eight sacks and forced four fumbles in 13 games. Headed into the final year of his two-year contract with the Patriots this season, he seemed to be on the short list of candidates worthy of a lucrative extension. 

This season, he has 3.5 sacks, and he did not record any tackles in Sunday night's loss. 

Flowers appeared to make the most of his playing time (61 snaps) on Sunday, picking up two quarterback pressures, two hits, 1.5 sacks and a run stuff. Ninkovich also had a productive day on the edge, recording four pressures, two hits and a sack.

When asked about the playing time Flowers received, Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn't make the situation any more complicated than it had to be. 

"There's really no difference for any players on the team," Belichick said. "Everybody earns their playing time. Players that play the best earn the playing time. If they play better than another player then they play more than the other player. If another player plays better than them, then they play less than the other guy. You earn your opportunities. You earn your playing time. That's the way it is."

That Sheard hadn't earned more than 16 snaps on Sunday night stood out. 

Patriots stay busy, reportedly sign Patrick Chung to extension

Patriots stay busy, reportedly sign Patrick Chung to extension

The Patriots have been busy in the last 48 hours. They made a trade to bring in a second McCourty. They signed a defensive end, a running back and an offensive lineman. And now they're extending one of their own. 

According to NFL Media, the Patriots are signing safety Patrick Chung to a short-term contract extension. Chung was headed into the final year of his contract and was set to earn $2 million in base salary. It's the third extension Chung has signed with New England in a little more than three years. 

Chung, who turns 31 in August, is arguably Bill Belichick's most versatile defender. He is able to play a traditional strong safety role, covering tight ends and backs and playing in run support. He's also been used at the "star" spot to take on opposing slot receivers, and he'll occasionally rush the passer. He's also still a key contributor in the kicking game. 

"The guy is a really good football player," Belichick said of Chung earlier in January. "He’s one of the best players in the league, one of the best players on our team. He does a lot of things very well and has done them that way for a long time. We’re lucky we have him. He’s an outstanding player in all the things that he does. We put a lot on him, and he always comes through."

Chung's second go-round with the Patriots has breathed new life into his career. 

Drafted in the second round in 2009 - with a pick the Patriots picked up by trading Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs - Chung was used in more of a traditional deep safety role. That gig didn't exactly maximize his skill set, and in 2013 he signed with the Eagles to play under his college coach at Oregon, Chip Kelly. 

The Eagles released Chung after one season, and the Patriots re-signed him with a different role in mind. A strong tackler who wasn't afraid to mix it up at the linebacker level, Chung started to be deployed more often in the box. He readily admitted, he welcomed the change to be a little closer to the action. 

In 2015, Chung signed an extension to tack on three years to what was initially a one-year contract. In 2016, he signed another one-year extension. 

"We took the guy in the second round," Belichick said last season. "But it just - for a combination of reasons, I'd say a big part of it [being] mistakes that I personally made - it didn’t work out the way that we hoped it would. But we got it right the second time. I think we've been able to utilize him. I wish we had been able to do that when we initially got him, but it didn’t work out that way. Like I said, I think we finally got it right."


Former Patriots RB Danny Woodhead announces retirement

Former Patriots RB Danny Woodhead announces retirement

Former Patriots running back Danny Woodhead has announced his retirement after 10 years in the NFL.

The 33-year-old took to Instagram to make it official.

10 years! Wow, God had crazy plans for a small little kid from North Platte, NE! It’s been a wild ride and feel so blessed He allowed me to do what I loved for so long. But now it’s time to say goodbye to the game I love. First, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Without Him my career wouldn’t have been possible. He blessed me with the gifts and He paved the way. All I had to do was follow His plans for my life, and His plans were crazy awesome! Next, I want to thank my wife who has been by my side since freshman year of high school. She has been a rock through all the ups and downs. Sis, Willy, Mae Mae, and Hopie your daddy is going to be home a ton more and I can’t wait! Thanks to my Dad and Mom for always supporting me and showing me that God is first, then everything else will fall into place. Ben, Joel, and Anna thanks for preparing me for the NFL in our backyard games growing up. The dreaded in-laws Steve and Suzie for always being there for me. Chris Gittings (agent) you’re the best and thankful your my brother/uncle! Thank you Jets, Patriots, Chargers, and Ravens! Thanks to all my head coaches (Bob Zohner, Brad Smith, Bill O’Boyle, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan, Bill Belichick, Mike McCoy, and John Harbaugh) who believed in me! To my rbs coaches (coach skiles, coach reiners, Jimmy Raye, A Lynn, Ivan, Ollie, Ridge, and Thomas) thanks for putting up with me. Thanks to all my teammates from high school till now. Without you guys I never would’ve become who I was as a player. To all my olinemen, you guys deserve the credit for anything that I received credit for. I thank you for helping make my career. To all the trainers, team docs, strength coaches, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, body gurus thanks for making sure I was on the field. To all the people who made my life easier at the facility (ops, pr, equipment staff, cafe workers, custodians) thanks and your work doesn’t go unnoticed. And how could i forget all my fans?! You’re the best and have always felt the love and support! I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few but know that I’m thankful for everything everyone has done on my journey.

A post shared by Danny Woodhead (@teamwoody39) on

Thursday, it was reported the Patriots reached out to Woodhead for a possible reunion. 

The last two seasons have been challenging for him, as he dealt with season-ending injuries in both 2016 with the Chargers and 2017 with the Ravens.

Woodhead finishes his career with 2,238 yards rushing, 2,698 yards receiving, 15 rushing touchdowns and 17 receiving touchdowns.