Patriots-Saints practice report; Amendola, Hightower still out


Patriots-Saints practice report; Amendola, Hightower still out

FOXBORO -- The Patriots could be without three key players, one for each phase of the game, when they take on the Saints this weekend.

Danny Amendola (concussion/knee), Dont'a Hightower (knee) and Matthew Slater (hamstring) were all missing from Thursday's practice and were listed as non-participants. The lone change from Wednesday's practice report was that defensive tackle Vincent Valentine (knee) returned to practice as a limited participant. 

For the trio of Amendola, Hightower and Slater, their absence Thursday signals an increased likelihood that they will be unable to play in Week 2. If that's the case, the Patriots will probably have to cope with a many-hands-makes-light-work approach. 

In the slot offensively, the Patriots may be forced to turn to someone like Chris Hogan, using Brandin Cooks and Phillip Dorsett on the outside. And while Rex Burkhead said on Thursday that he isn't a slot receiver, the Patriots could also utilize their pass-catching backs to help lighten the load for their shrinking receiver group. There's also the possibility the Patriots call up a receiver from the practice squad -- either Cody Hollister or return specialist Demarcus Ayers -- to provide an added level of depth. 

If Hightower misses time, the Patriots could use another body either on the edge or at the second level of their defense. Kyle Van Noy should continue to have a significant role, but David Harris and Elandon Roberts -- both of whom saw extremely limited action in Week 1 -- could see a bump in their playing time. Cassius Marsh was Hightower's replacement on the edge against the Chiefs so he should receive plenty of playing time once again. Harvey Langi, another candidate for edge work, was inactive for the season-opener.

As for Slater's potential absence, the Patriots will likely rely on Jonathan Jones and Johnson Bademosi as their gunners on the punt team. Bademosi's addition before the start of the season helps take some of the strain off of the Patriots, but Slater's dependability in the kicking game would be missed, as it was in Week 1, if he can't go.

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


WR Danny Amendola (concussion/knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)

DL Adam Butler (knee)
OT Marcus Cannon (shoulder)
DB Nate Ebner (shoulder)
OT Cameron Fleming (ankle)
S Devin McCourty (groin)
DT Vincent Valentine (knee)


T Terron Armstead (shoulder)
T Zack Strief (knee)

LB Stephone Anthony (ankle)
DE Trey Hendrickson (illness)
LB Nate Stupar (hamstring)

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Tom Brady has been making the media rounds lately with "Good Morning America" and "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" appearances this past week to promote his "Tom vs. Time" series and TB12 Method book. On Saturday, Brady was a phone-in guest on NPR's "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" for their "Not My Job" segment. 

Before a mostly cheering live audience in Hartford and after a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks - mostly drawbacks - of tomatoes and strawberries, plus an assessment of the intelligence of most defensive coordinators, Brady settled in to handle three questions about the world's second-most famous Bradys, the family from the classic sitcom - "The Brady Bunch".

Click here to listen and see how he did. 


Eyeing a QB, Jets trade up to No. 3 pick

AP Photo

Eyeing a QB, Jets trade up to No. 3 pick

After missing out on coveted free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, who signed with the Minnesota Vikings, the Jets signed Teddy Bridgewater and brought back Josh McCown as short-term solutions at QB, but with the trade they made with the Colts on Saturday, their future franchise QB could be drafted next month.

The Jets acquired the No. 3 overall pick in the April 26 draft from the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for the sixth overall pick, two 2018 second-round picks (37th and 49th) and a 2019 second-rounder.

UCLA's Josh Rosen, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, Wyoming's Josh Allen and USC's Sam Darnold are considered the top QBs in the draft. The Cleveland Browns and New York Giants have the first two picks, the Browns have No. 4, too, and could be eyeing a QB. Penn State running back Saquon Barkley could be among the top picks as well. 

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