Patriots

How Phillip Dorsett helped N'Keal Harry during Patriots rookie's IR stint

How Phillip Dorsett helped N'Keal Harry during Patriots rookie's IR stint

On Tuesday, Patriots first-round draft pick N'Keal Harry finally got to participate in his first practice since being placed on injured reserve, and he clearly was ecstatic to get back to work.

Being unable to contribute for the first six weeks of the season had to have been a difficult experience for the 21-year-old. But fortunately for him, he had fellow wideout Phillip Dorsett and the rest of his teammates to help out every step of the way.

“We’ve stayed on him,” Dorsett said, per WEEI. “I know I’ve stayed on him, talking to him every day about it. Just making sure that he’s in shape mentally, physically, emotionally, making sure he’s ready to play. Obviously, he has some time. He has to catch up, but he’ll be fine.”

When Harry returns, he could be a major difference-maker for a Patriots offense that could use some additional weapons. The wide receiver depth chart currently consists of Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Dorsett, and rookies Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski.

A first-round talent thrown into the mix could end up being just what the doctor ordered, and that's one of the multiple reasons why Dorsett wanted to lend Harry a helping hand.

“It’s not like I have to. I want to,” Dorsett said. “He’s a good guy. He’s my teammate. I want him to succeed just as much as I want to succeed. At the end of the day, if he succeeds, this team succeeds. We all have one goal. We want to win. And we know that he knows that he can help us win.”

Harry will be eligible to make his NFL debut in Week 9 (Nov. 3) when the Patriots visit the Baltimore Ravens.

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Patriots downgrade S Patrick Chung, RB Damien Harris to out for Eagles game

Patriots downgrade S Patrick Chung, RB Damien Harris to out for Eagles game

The Patriots have downgraded safety Patrick Chung and running back Damien Harris from questionable to out for the game Sunday against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

Chung has had heel and chest injuries but did play in the Pats' last game before their bye week, the Nov. 3 loss to the Ravens. Harris appeared on the injury report for the first time on Friday with a hamstring issue. The rookie third-round pick from Alabama has only been active for two games this season.

The loss of Chung could impact the Patriots most in their coverage of Eagles tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Taking on tight ends is something Chung has excelled at. 

ESPN Mike Reiss reports that Patriots tight end Matt LaCosse, out with a knee injury since Oct. 10, did travel with the team to Philly so he will likely be active for the game.

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Ten years ago today, on fourth-and-2, Bill Belichick made one of his most controversial decisions

Ten years ago today, on fourth-and-2, Bill Belichick made one of his most controversial decisions

It was one of the most controversial calls in Patriots history...and it didn't come from an official.

It was Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 in the final minutes against the Indianapolis Colts. And it was 10 years ago today.

THE DECISION

It remains Belichick's most talked-about moves this side of Malcolm Butler. In a Week 10 matchup in Indianapolis, the 8-0 Colts faced the 6-2 Patriots in a high-scoring affair. Leading 34-28 but backed up at their own 28-yard-line and needing two yards for a first down, Belichick chose to go for it on fourth down and try and keep the ball out of quarterback Peyton Manning's hands.

THE PLAY

Tom Brady completed a pass to running back Kevin Faulk, who was driven backward by the Colts' Melvin Bullitt. After a measurement, Faulk was ruled short of the first down. Three Colts plays later, a Manning-to-Reggie Wayne TD pass and extra point with 13 seconds left a 35-34 victory.

THE AFTERMATH

There was plenty of second-guessing of Belichick's move. Had he outsmarted himself? Why didn't he punt and show more faith in his defense? 

“We thought we could win the game with that play,” he explained at the time. “That was a yard I was confident we could get.” Belichick had maintained it was more like fourth-and-long-1, rather than 2. Where the ball was spotted after the Faulk play is still the subject of debate.

Those Pats would go on to lose two of their next three, finish 10-6, still win the AFC East but get smoked by the Baltimore Ravens 33-14 in Foxboro in a wild-card playoff game. Manning's team won its first 14 games, then rested its regulars and lost twice before reaching its first Super Bowl as the Indy Colts and losing to the New Orleans Saints. 

TODAY

When Indianapolis reporter Kevin Bowen tweeted about the play's 10th anniversary on Saturday, it stirred up memories for former Colts linebacker Gary Brackens, who recalled the disrespect he felt from Belichick's decision to test the Indy defense. 

To this day, "Fourth-and-2" means only one thing to most NFL fans.

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