Patriots

Pats-Panthers practice participation/injury report: Burkhead still missing

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Pats-Panthers practice participation/injury report: Burkhead still missing

FOXBORO -- Rex Burkhead was the only Patriots player who missed practice on Thursday. It was the second straight day that the running back was not on the practice field. He's dealing with a ribs injury he suffered in Week 2 against the Saints.

Against the Texans, the split for Patriots backs wasn't drastically altered without Burkhead. Dion Lewis, who can serve as an all-purpose back, played 12 snaps. Versus the Saints in Week 12, he played 14 snaps. James White (the team's primary sub back) and Mike Gillislee (the team's big back) have not seen their roles change with Burkhead out, either. 

Utilizing Lewis more, however, could make sense for the Patriots in certain situations. They've struggled in short-yardage this season, but handing off to Lewis could potentially help them solve those woes.

The quickness Lewis has displayed at the line of scrimmage is unlike anything the Patriots have at that position, meaning when the Patriots offensive line has trouble generating movement -- which it has on third-and-one and fourth-and-one -- Lewis could potentially pick up yardage on his own by making tacklers miss. 

For example, in the third quarter against the Chiefs, Lewis was hit a yard behind the line of scrimmage, wiggled away, bounced off three tackles and somehow fell forward for five yards. Another example? In the third quarter against the Saints, Lewis was hit a yard behind the line of scrimmage again, spun out of two tackles, dove underneath two more hits and fell forward for a one-yard gain.

Neither of those plays featured opposing defenses stacking the line of scrimmage the way they would in a third-and-one or fourth-and-one situation, but maybe the Patriots will be willing to try something new if they need a yard to move the chains against the Panthers.

Here's Thursday's full practice participation/injury report, which featured no changes for the Patriots from Wednesday . . . 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
RB Rex Burkhead (ribs)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
WR Danny Amendola (concussion/knee)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle/concussion)
WR Phillip Dorsett (knee)
S Nate Ebner (shoulder)
CB Stephon Gilmore (groin)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)
WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)

CAROLINA PANTHERS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
LB Jeremy Cash (calf)
LB Thomas Davis (rib)
DE Daeshon Hall (knee)
DE Charles Johnson (rest)
C Ryan Kalil (neck)
RB Jonathan Stewart (rest)
CB Daryl Worley (shoulder)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
QB Cam Newton (right shoulder)
WR Curtis Samuel (back)

FULL PARTICIPATION
WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee)
DT Star Lotulelei (shoulder)
DE Julius Peppers (rest)

David Harris retires after 11 seasons with Jets, Patriots

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File Photo

David Harris retires after 11 seasons with Jets, Patriots

David Harris's 11-year run in the NFL has come to an end. 

On Friday, the linebacker announced his retirement from the game of football after spending 10 seasons with the Jets and one with the Patriots. 

The Jets drafted Harris with the 47th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, he racked up 5 sacks and 127 total tackles. His breakout rookie season was an clear indication of the solid player he would become over the course of his career. 

Although he neither won a Super Bowl, nor made it to a Pro Bowl, the linebacker served as a focal point on a Rex Ryan defense that appeared in two AFC Championships in 2010 and 2011. 

When he was released in 2017, the 34-year-old made a career choice to sign with the Patriots to compete for a Super Bowl.

He didn't go out a champion, but a trip to the Super Bowl was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for one of the most underrated linebackers of the past decade. 

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What was Odell Beckham Jr. telling Kyrie Irving?

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AP Photo

What was Odell Beckham Jr. telling Kyrie Irving?

Admittedly, the audio is poor but the idea is no less intriguing.

Was Odell Beckham Jr. telling Kyrie Irving at NBA All-Star Weekend that he's trying to go to the Patriots? Or to Boston? Or New England? 

It's 23 seconds into the video below: 

Isaiah Houde of USA TODAY's PatriotsWire interprets it as: "You went to the Celtics and I’m trying to go to New England."

Beckham has had a few Instagram posts about Brady recently, including an exchange of rap lyrics back in December. 

🐐chasin.

A post shared by Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) on

Unless there's a trade between the Patriots and Giants, Beckham, 25, the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, won't be free to join Kyrie in New England - or was it Boston? - until the four-year deal he signed in 2014 ends after this season. Oh, and as he enters that 2019 season, Tom Brady will be 42. 

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