Thursday's Patriots-Rams practice report: Brady, Edelman return


Thursday's Patriots-Rams practice report: Brady, Edelman return

FOXBORO -- The Patriots got both Tom Brady (knee) and Julian Edelman (foot) back at practice on Thursday.

Brady missed the first two practices of last week due to his knee issue, and he was absent from his team's on-the-field work Wednesday. On Thursday, he took some three-step drops and made throws in front of reporters without any apparent issue. 

Edelman, meanwhile, missed practice for the first time this season on Wednesday. Though he has been limited by a foot issue for much of the season, according to the Boston Globe, he did not participate because he wasn't in town. Per the Globe, he traveled to Los Angeles for the birth of his daughter with model Ella Rose.

Martellus Bennett also returned to practice on Thursday after watching Wednesday's workout, which he said provided him with an opportunity at mental reps.

Among the additions to the injury report were defensive tackle Woodrow Hamilton, who did not participate due to an illness, and defensive end Trey Flowers, who was limited with a shin issue.

One area that has been hit particularly hard by the innjury bug lately: Patriots special teams units. Kicking game captain Matthew Slater was limited with a foot injury, while Jordan Richards (knee) and Nate Ebner (concussion) didn't participate for the second straight day.

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


DB Nate Ebner (concussion)
TE Rob Gronkowski (back)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (illness)
DB Jordan Richards (knee)

TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
QB Tom Brady (knee)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Trey Flowers (shin)
WR Chris Hogan (back)
WR/SpT Matthew Slater (foot)


WR Tavon Austin (chest)
C Tim Barnes (foot)
G Roger Saffold (hand)
DE Robert Quinn (concussion)

T Andrew Donnal (hip)

Search continues: Scarnecchia pops up at Notre Dame for look at McGlinchey

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Search continues: Scarnecchia pops up at Notre Dame for look at McGlinchey

The effort to replenish the tackle depth the Patriots boasted last year will not stop with the re-signing of LaAdrian Waddle. That much was clear when Dante Scarnecchia was spotted at Notre Dame's pro day on Thursday.

The Fighting Irish offense featured two of the top offensive linemen in the country last season in guard Quenton Nelson and tackle Mike McGlinchey.

Nelson is expected to be a top-10 selection and some believe him to be the best player in this year's class regardless of position. The Patriots probably won't have a shot at him. And they're OK at guard. Scarnecchia (and national scout DuJuan Daniels) were in all likelihood there to scout McGlinchey more thoroughly. 


The 6-foot-8, 312-pounder is considered by many to be the top tackle in this year's draft. McGlinchey spent two seasons on the right side, backing up current Ravens tackle Ronnie Stanley, and he spent the last two seaons on the left. He's thought to be a very good athlete for his size, but he may have some issues with "bull rushers and power at the point of attack," according's Lance Zierlein. 

But even with the blemishes that may show up on his tape, McGlinchey could go in the top half of the first round if a team gets desperate. Or he could slide. It seems a slide to the Patriots would be unlikely but not impossible. That's why the Patriots did their due diligence on the player who may be the only NFL-ready tackle in the draft.

Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage made that very point on Quick Slants the Podcast soon after the NFL Scouting Combine finished up. 

"It's definitely become a challenge," Savage said of finding pro-ready tackles. "We've always focused and talked about how the spread offenses in college have affected the quarterbacks, but in reality, it's impacted all of the positions, quite frankly. 

"You look at the offensive line nowadays and most schools are building what I call a five-man unit where there's no real distinction between the left tackle versus the right tackle versus the right guard versus the left guard. They're all kind of the same because they play as a unit. There's not as much of a premium placed on that left tackle as a standalone pass-protector...

"This year, amazingly enough, I really only had one tackle [with a first-round grade following the combine, and that's [Notre Dame's] Mike McGlinchey. There's a couple of interior linemen like Will Hernandez from UTEP and Quenton Nelson from Notre Dame that are likely to go in the first round. But as far as just a tackle. Wow. It's staggering to think that there could only be really one tackle to go in the first round this year."

The Patriots have a variety of routes they could take in filling the left tackle void filled by Nate Solder. They could try to figure out a way to get McGlinchey in house. They could go with Waddle. They could flip Marcus Cannon to the left side and use Waddle on the right. Maybe a second-year player -- Antonio Garcia? Cole Croston? -- will surprise and force the team's hand.

Whatever they choose, the search for tackles isn't over. And given how difficult it seems to be for teams around the league to find serviceable ones, it could last a while.



Reports: Patriots among NFL teams taking a look at Manziel

File photo

Reports: Patriots among NFL teams taking a look at Manziel

Johnny Manziel said 10 days ago, "I'd go to New England in a heartbeat," when asked about the Patriots as a potential landing spot.

That seemed like wishful thinking at the time, but they're taking a look at him...along with 12 other NFL teams, according to ESPN's Eric Williams. 

Tom Brady's current backup Brian Hoyer is, like Manziel, an ex-Cleveland Browns quarterback. Manziel would again be competing with Hoyer for the Pats' No. 2 job should New England take a chance on "Johnny Football", the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M, who's been out of football the past two years because of substance abuse and emotional problems.

FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman had it at 12 teams watching Manziel work out at the University of San Diego and said the Patriots gave Manziel a weigh-in.