Patriots

Welker sitting out Thursday practice

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Welker sitting out Thursday practice

TAMPA - Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker did not take part in practice Thursday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Welker was on the sidelines in shorts and a t-shirt while the Pats and Bucs prepared for their second day of joint workouts.

There was nothing immediately evident to suggest why Welker was down. He did have a hair transplant performed by Dr. Robert Leonard in late June but there's little chance that getting his own hair back would do anything but make him stunningly handsome.

The Patriots make a habit of managing their key players' repetitions during camp and the chance exists Welker is merely having his work managed. But given the team was working in shells in advance of Friday's game and the workload wasn't heavy, we have to consider Welker's chances of playing as doubtful.

Also newly added to the spectator group was safety Ross Ventrone.

Bill Belichick said the Patriots planned to work on situational aspects with the Bucs on Friday. The coach remains his expansive away-from-Gillette self.

Speaking of the first day of work, Belichick said, "I thought it was a good day for us yesterday. I think we got a lot done and improved our team. Saw a lot of things out there that we haven't seen, and of course, competing against another team is good for us. So we spent a lot of time last night going over the film with the players as a staff, as part of critiquing ourselves -- as coaches and what we need to do better and also the players and how they competed against each other and the different matchups we saw in practice."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

0:43 - Tom Curran, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley talk about Bill Belichick saying it’s “incomprehensible” that people expect the Patriots to be on the same level as last year at this point in the season.

11:55 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley discuss J.R. Smith’s comments about the Celtics not being a threat to the Cavaliers.

15:38 - Abby Chin, Chris Mannix, and A. Sherrod Blakely join BST from Cleveland to talk about Marcus Smart and the Celtics failing to agree to a contract extension, making him a restricted free agent in July. They also preview Tuesday’s Celtics-Cavaliers season opener.

19:25 - Reports say Alex Cora is the frontrunner for the Red Sox managerial position, but Brad Ausmus interviewed for the position on Monday. Who is the right man for the job? Tom Giles and Michael Holley discuss.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win

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MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Marcus Mariota threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor with 5:29 left , and the Tennessee Titans beat the Indianapolis Colts 36-22 on Monday night to snap an 11-game skid tied for the NFL's longest active losing streak against one team.

Mariota didn't move around much on a cool night after missing a game with a strained left hamstring, but still managed to throw for a season-high 306 yards. He completed each of his three passes on the drive that ended with Taylor's tiebreaking score.

The Titans (3-3) also snapped a two-game skid with the win.

Jacoby Brissett tried to rally the Colts (2-4) to a second straight overtime. But Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard forced Brissett out of bounds shy of the first down marker on fourth-and-inches with 2:19 left. Coach Chuck Pagano lost his challenge.

Derrick Henry then clinched the win for Tennessee with a 72-yard TD run with 47 seconds left. Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, finished with a career-high 131 yards on 19 carries. DeMarco Murray also scored.

The Titans looked like the NFL's worst scoring defense in the first half instead of Indianapolis, with Brissett directing the Colts to a 13-9 halftime lead. John Simon then intercepted Mariota's first pass of the third quarter and returned it 26 yards for a TD.

But the Titans forced the Colts to go three-and-out on three of their first four drives of the second half, and Avery Williamson stripped tight end Jack Doyle of the ball after a catch.

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