Patriots

Top of the morning: C's fall to Sixers; Pats' Bolden suspended

937227.jpg

Top of the morning: C's fall to Sixers; Pats' Bolden suspended

Jessica Moran of "SportsNet Central" wraps up the day in sports, including another home loss for the Celtics and a suspension for a Patriots rookie running back.

The Celtics came into Friday night's matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers at the Garden looking to build on the momentum of sweeping a home-and-home series with the Washington Wizards.

It didn't happen.

The Sixers took a 12-point lead at the half and held off a C's fourth-quarter rally to win 106-100. The Celtics fell to 2-3 and don't have much time to recover from the loss. They play in Milwaukee on Saturday night.

A relatively quiet Friday for the Patriots changed quickly when the team announced that rookie running back Brandon Bolden has been suspended four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

He will be eligible to return Dec. 4.

Tom Brady mum on hand injury, practice status

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

Tom Brady mum on hand injury, practice status

FOXBORO — Tom Brady basically told the media to talk to the hand.

More specifically, Brady replied, “I’m not talking about that” to each question about his right hand injury in Friday’s press conference.

Brady stood at the podium wearing the very red gloves that have been captured in pre-practice photos the last two days. Asked why he was wearing them indoors, Brady replied, “I’ve worn them before.” 

The five-time Super Bowl champion was also mum on whether or not he participated in practice Friday, sharing only that he was “out there,” which adds no clarification given that he was on the field before Thursday’s practice but did not participate. 

Brady is believed to have suffered the injury in Wednesday’s practice. Friday’s practice report will be released this afternoon. 
 

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.