Patriots

Rex Burkhead returns to Patriots practice

burkhead.jpg

Rex Burkhead returns to Patriots practice

FOXBORO -- The Patriots got one injured player back on the field Friday as they made their final preparations for the Panthers. 

Rex Burkhead, who missed Week 3 with a rib injury and had not practiced this week, was in shells with the rest of the team and on the field for the stretching portion (the only time made available to media) of Friday’s practice at Gillette Stadium.

Burkhead was listed as doubtful on the injury report released Friday afternoon.

The Patriots made do without Burkhead in Week 3 and might have to again Sunday despite his presence on the practice field. Burkhead looked to be moving gingerly in his turns during core stretches. 

All other players were present Friday.

Jaguars have Ramsey's back

ramsey_back_1162018.jpg

Jaguars have Ramsey's back

Enough has been made of Jalen Ramsey’s bold proclamation that the Jaguars are going to win the Super Bowl despite the fact that they’re aren’t even on that stage yet.

I know it’s not how the Patriots do business but other teams do. Does it generally work? Well, no one can match the Pats sustainability but that doesn’t mean that style can’t be effective in shorter windows.

Look at the Seahawks or Ravens. Even the Giants could be boisterous. That leads me back to the Jags, who have Ramsey’s back.

“We’re so close that I think it’s OK to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do this,’’’ said defensive tackle Malik Jackson.

“The man has confidence in his team,” added Abry Jones, also a defensive tackle. “What’s he going to say? He knows what we’re going up there to do. It’s not like he’s saying anything that’s not true.”

“He does things very passionately,” Calais Campbell told the Rich Eisen show. “You feed off that. When you see a guy who loves the game as much as he does, you can’t help but fall into the same mentality.”

That is what makes Ramsey different from say Mike Mitchell, the Steelers safety who ran his mouth weeks ago about beating the Patriots in the AFC title game and then stood outside the Jags locker room and yapped about what a long day the visitors were in forSunday. How’s that working out for Mitchell now? He’s at home while Ramsey is about to play in his biggest game as a pro.

“He’s going to talk, but he’s going to show up,” Yannick Ngakoue said. “I just don’t like people talking all week. You talk reckless, man, and you lose. It is what it is.”

That is not an indicator to the Jags that Ramsey is looking ahead.

“He’s just happy,” noted Ngakoue. “He understands we have a giant in front of us and he’s got to pay all of his attention to this team. We don’t even know who’s going to play in the Super Bowl…We understand we have to do what we have to do or we’ll be watching the Super Bowl at home like everybody else.”

Of course, Ngakoue, the gifted edge rusher on that fearsome front 4, had some pointed words to the Steelers after that 45-42 win Sunday saying “real people don’t say nothing. Real people are quiet but then throw the first punch…they thought they were bullies today. We were the bullies. See you next year.”

That’s not Ramsey’s modus operandi however. He got under A.J. Green’s skin so much that the normally peaceful Bengals wideout threw punches at the Jags corner during the game and reportedly wanted more after the game. Then - and now - Jacksonville seems okay with it so long as the All-Pro corner continues to deliver the goods.

“Everybody has their own persona,” said Leonard Fournette. “Whatever motivates them. We aren’t worried about two weeks ahead of us. We aren’t worried about the Super Bowl. It’s the next game. It’s Sunday in New England.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

EX-PATS PODCAST: Will Jaguars defense give Pats trouble?

ex-pats-podcast17.png

EX-PATS PODCAST: Will Jaguars defense give Pats trouble?

On the latest episode of The Ex-Pats Podcast, Mike Giardi and Dan Koppen discuss the Patriots advancing to their seventh consecutive AFC Championship Game, and whether or not Jacksonville's defense can give the Pats problems.