Patriots

Pietrus' injury overshadows C's loss

712158.jpg

Pietrus' injury overshadows C's loss

PHILADELPHIA There's adversity, tough breaks, bad luck and then there's the Boston Celtics of 2011-2012.

For all of the injury-related setbacks this team has suffered in this lockout-shortened season, the list continues to inexplicably grow.

Boston stumbled out of the gates in the third quarter, and dropped a critical Atlantic Division matchup to Philadelphia, 99-86.

But after this one, no one really cared about the score or who won.

All thoughts and prayers were directed toward Boston's Mickael Pietrus, who suffered what team officials described as a "closed head injury."

In the second quarter with the Celtics ahead 39-38, Pietrus was fouled on a driving lay-up attempt by Lou Williams, with 5:08 to play in the half.

As players began to move away from the play, Pietrus remained on the floor, motionless.

Teammates slowly began to form a circle around him, pulling out long white towels to help prop his head off the hard floor.

It was a scene eerily reminiscent of Marquis Daniels' neck injury on Feb. 6, 2011, which kept Daniels out for the remainder of the season.

After Pietrus was eventually carted off, both teams were clearly impacted by the injury.

But the energy drain his absence caused both teams in the second quarter, lingered around his teammates for the rest of the game.

Boston managed to take a 49-43 lead into the half, but the momentum they had in the first half could not be sustained in what turned out to be a game-changing third quarter.

And the C's were already short-handed with Ray Allen (left ankle) being a late-game scratch.

The C's lost the lead in the third early, only to regain it back, 64-63.

From there, it was all Philly as the Sixers closed out the third with a 17-2 run and led, 80-66 going into the fourth.

Boston made a mini-spurt here and there, but they could never quite regain the strong play and focus they had in the first half.

And the end result was yet another loss in which the C's lost more than just a game - but another key member of their team.

Dion Lewis: 'Nobody's really worried' about Tom Brady

new-england-patriots-training-camp-dion-lewis-tom-brady-80217.jpg

Dion Lewis: 'Nobody's really worried' about Tom Brady

James White put it perfectly on Thursday. When asked if he was the one who injured Tom Brady's hand in Wednesday's practice, the running back replied, "The world may never know."

During an interview with NFL Network, another Patriots running back said you can't put Brady's injury on him.

"Not me," said DIon Lewis. "No, it wasn't me . . . I actually didn't see it happen, but from when I talked to other guys, I knew he was gonna be oaky. It's Tom, so regardless of any situation he's put in, he's going to make sure he's out there game day. Nobody's really worried."

That seems to be the general consensus inside the Patriots locker room. They're all expecting Brady to play. And when they're asked about how he's looked, their answers have ranged from evasive to joking about Brady's handsomeness

The focus, as Lewis explained, isn't so much on the health of their quarterback but rather the game plan they're putting in place to take on the top defense in the AFC. 

"We have a great idea," Lewis said, "of what we think we can do to have success against this defense . . . We just gotta be on point every play. We don't got plays to give away."

Might that mean a load of two-back or two-tight end sets to keep Jacksonville's base personnel on the field? Might that mean plenty of work in the screen game, as Jerod Mayo suggested on this week's Quick Slants the Podcast? Might that mean a heavy dose of Rob Gronkowski?

There are soft spots in the Jaguars defense, as talented as it is, but it will probably require Brady being able to grip a football for the Patriots to exploit them. His teammates seem confident he'll be able to do that.

Tom Brady spotted at beginning of Friday practice

cp-patriots-brady-injured-hand-011818.jpg

Tom Brady spotted at beginning of Friday practice

FOXBORO — For the second straight day, Tom Brady was on the practice field long enough for people to take pictures of his hand. Check ‘em out. 

Friday marked the second straight day in which Brady wore a glove on his throwing hand, something he does not typically do. He was also on the field for the media portion at the beginning of Thursday’s practice, but did not participate in the actual practice. 

We’ll know when the practice report is released later today whether Brady practiced this time. He’ll also speak this afternoon.