The Patriots and Eagles are fully healthy going into Super Bowl 52. No players were listed as limited or non-participants at Friday practices on the final injury report released Friday.
Patriots' Malcolm Butler, Rob Gronkowski, Brandon King and Deatrich Wise were all removed on Friday. Tom Brady, who was removed from the report before the AFC Championship Game, has been practicing with the black tape on his throwing hand as he wore in the victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Eagles defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (illness), who did not participate and linebacker Donnell Ellerbe (hamstring) who was a limited participant on Thursday, both practiced Friday.
The Patriots have re-signed Brandon Bolden on a one-year deal that includes a base salary of $790,000. Why does the move matter? Here's a quick look at how this impacts the Patriots moving forward . . .
1) Bolden's new deal gives the Patriots the opportunity to return one of their core special teamers in 2018. While there are significant needs on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball for Bill Belichick's team, there are also areas in the kicking game that need to be addressed this offseason. Matthew Slater, Nate Ebner, Marquis Flowers and Johnson Bademosi are all scheduled to hit free agency, and Brandon King will be a restricted free agent. With Bolden, the Patriots have one of their top kick-coverage players back for next season. The Patriots were the top team in the league when it came to opponent average starting field position in 2017 due in part to their effective kick-coverage units.
2) The 2018 running back number for the Patriots now sits at three. Bolden is not a significant part of New England's offensive plan. He played just 49 offensive snaps, including playoffs, last season. But he did score a touchdown in the Divisional Round against the Titans and he saw one red-zone snap in the Super Bowl against the Eagles. The Patriots have turned to Bolden in the past to take on some of the running back workload (68 carries in 2015, 55 in 2013, 56 in 2012), and so he may be viewed as an emergency stop-gap moving forward. Before Bolden's signing, the only Patriots backs under contract for 2018 were James White and Mike Gillislee.
3) The move is a cost-effective way to maintain some consistency. The Patriots got this deal done quickly, well before the start of the new league year, and it won't hurt them when it comes to the salary cap. Bolden, 28, is reportedly receiving $170,000 guaranteed, and his cap number will be $720,000. The Patriots still have a long way to go in terms of filling some of the holes on their roster, but re-signing Bolden is one of the first small step in ensuring there's some continuity on their special teams units from 2017 to 2018.
David Harris's 11-year run in the NFL has come to an end.
On Friday, the linebacker announced his retirement from the game of football after spending 10 seasons with the Jets and one with the Patriots.
The Jets drafted Harris with the 47th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, he racked up 5 sacks and 127 total tackles. His breakout rookie season was an clear indication of the solid player he would become over the course of his career.
Although he neither won a Super Bowl, nor made it to a Pro Bowl, the linebacker served as a focal point on a Rex Ryan defense that appeared in two AFC Championships in 2010 and 2011.
When he was released in 2017, the 34-year-old made a career choice to sign with the Patriots to compete for a Super Bowl.
He didn't go out a champion, but a trip to the Super Bowl was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for one of the most underrated linebackers of the past decade.