Patriots

Patriots place LB Tarpinian on IR, sign WR Underwood

596812.jpg

Patriots place LB Tarpinian on IR, sign WR Underwood

The Patriots made a few roster moves on Thursday, the biggest of which was placing linebacker Jeff Tarpinian on injured reserve due to a head injury, effectively ending his season.

The Patriots signed wide receiver Tiquan Underwood to the 53-man roster. Underwood has had a couple stints on the Patriots this season, but has not played in a regular season game.

Tarpinian was signed to the Patriots practice squad as an undrafted free agent on Sept. 14, 2011 and was eventually activated to the Patriots' 53-man roster a week after.

Serving primarily as a special teamer, Tarpinian made one start at linebacker for the Pats in a Week 8 game against the Jets, a 37-16 Patriots win. He made four tackles in that game.

Tarpinian finished the season with seven defensive tackles and four defensive tackles. He was considered one of the better special teamers, and a player that Bill Belichick saw significant improvement in over the weeks.

"Jeff did a good job for us," Belichick said. "We really felt like he was coming along. Unfortunately, last week he had this thing come up, so we'll just have to see how it all works out. In the meantime, hes not going to be able to participate for awhile. He was a young player doing well, playing on defense a little bit. I think he was starting to develop a role there and he certainly was improving in the kicking game.

"He was giving us a solid player in all four phases the big four: kickoff, kickoff return, punt and punt return. He was giving us solid play in all four phases of special teams that he was involved in, so Im disappointed for him and disappointed for us, but we have to move on."

Belichick would not elaborate on the "head injury" when asked if it was concussion related. He did, however, talk about a linebacker who should see more time now that Tarpinian is on the IR.

"Fortunately, we were able to bring Niko Koutouvides in and he really has helped us both on defense and in the kicking game, in practice and in the games," Belichick said. "Hes a solid, veteran guy that was here for us, fortunately, in preseason, so the recall and the assignments and all of that come back pretty quickly to him."

The Patriots also signed Ross Ventrone (yes, again) to the practice squad, releasing Josh Victorian (yes, again) to open up the spot.

Patriots-Falcons injury report: Gilmore, Rowe out

patriots_texans_stephon_gilmore_2_092417.jpg

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:

Tom Brady: Injuries like his, Gordon Hayward's 'big reality check for all of us'

patriots_tom_brady_3_112016.jpg

Tom Brady: Injuries like his, Gordon Hayward's 'big reality check for all of us'

FOXBORO — You’d have to go back to 2008 to find the last “you’ve got to be kidding me” injury to open a Boston season before Gordon Hayward. 

That injury, of course, was the torn ACL suffered by Brady on a hit to the left leg from Bernard Pollard with 7:27 left in the first quarter of Week 1. Brady missed the rest of the season and the Pats went on to miss the playoffs despite going 11-5 under Matt Cassel. 

MORE:

Brady, who reached out to Aaron Rodgers last Sunday after the Packers quarterback was lost for the season, said he felt for Hayward after the Celtics’ key free agent acquisition suffered a fracture-dislocation of his left ankle 5:15 into the season opener against the Cavaliers Tuesday.

“It’s just a big reality check for all of us because we all think we’re invincible to some degree, and then you go and you have this really tough injury that just happens,” Brady said. “It is tough and everyone probably goes through something a little different or it hits them at different times, and I feel bad for [Hayward and Rodgers], but I’m sure they’ll both come back stronger and better than ever. 

“That’s what you have to do as an athlete. You’re always faced with adversities and you’ve got to overcome them. Mental toughness is a big part of that. I know both those players have a lot of that.”