Patriots

Josh Gordon in pads a sign he's off NFI, eligible to play Week 1

Josh Gordon in pads a sign he's off NFI, eligible to play Week 1

FOXBORO -- For the first time since late last year, Josh Gordon is officially eligible to play in a regular-season game. 

Practicing in pads for the first time since he was suspended by the NFL for violating its substance abuse policy last season, it appears as though Josh Gordon has been removed from the non-football injury list. Had Gordon remained on NFI into the regular season, he would've been forced to miss the first six games of the year. 

Now eligible for the active roster when rosters are cut down from 90 to 53 players, Gordon could suit up for the Patriots and be in the huddle with Tom Brady for New England's Week 1 game with Pittsburgh. 

Gordon is part of a crowded receiver room that could be well-populated even into the start of the regular season. It's conceivable that the Patriots hold onto Gordon, Julian Edelman, Demaryius Thomas, N'Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers and Phillip Dorsett when cuts are made. (That was the group that made the cut in our most recent 53-man roster projection.) Slot receivers and returners Braxton Berrios and Gunner Olszewski could also make cases for roster spots. 

The Patriots haven't kept six wideouts (not including Matthew Slater) in recent years, but given the number of question marks associated with those names listed above, it might behoove Bill Belichick to keep extra reserves available. Should any one of those names above be removed from the equation for reasons out of the head coach's control, Belichick might like to have a dependable player like Dorsett -- acquired in a trade that sent the Colts their new starting quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, in 2017 -- to turn to.

Harry and Berrios were back at practice after missing Thursday's preseason game against the Panthers. Berrios is expected to be able to play Thursday in the preseason finale, while Harry has missed practice time and both preseason games since getting hurt in the preseason opener in Detroit on Aug. 8. 

Matt LaCosse, the tight end who hasn't participated in a preseason game since getting hurt against the Lions, was also back at practice. Patrick Chung, who wasn't spotted at Thursday's game, was in full pads and had a wrap around his right arm. Chung was indicted for cocaine possession earlier this month and has an arraignment hearing scheduled for Wednesday. 

Among those missing from Sunday's fully-padded workout were David Andrews, Damien Harris, Trent Harris, Lance Kendricks, Ben Watson and Maurice Harris. Damien Harris, Kendricks and Watson all suffered injuries against the Panthers on Thursday. Olszewski was also injured Thursday but was present at Sunday's practice.

Click here to see Phil Perry's latest 53-man roster projections>>>

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NFL Rumors: Dolphins trade Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers

NFL Rumors: Dolphins trade Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers

The Miami Dolphins have reportedly traded Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers, ending any chance the Patriots had to secure their division rival's young star. 

The Steelers will send their 2020 first round pick to the Dolphins for Fitzpatrick, giving Miami three first round picks and six total selections in the first three rounds of the upcoming draft.

Fitzpatrick, a versatile safety with experience playing both safety spots along with slot and outside corner, will help a Steelers secondary that was completely obliterated by the Patriots in Week 1. Ben Roethlisberger is out for the rest of the season, so it will be up to Mason Rudolph to lead the Steeler offense after their defense gets a major upgrade. 

This also takes a potential trade off the table for the Patriots. Our own Phil Perry outlined why it would have made a ton of sense for the Patriots to try and pry Fitzpatrick away from Miami, but it appears the Dolphins will deal their first round selection from 2018 to one of New England's rivals. 

Jalen Ramsey requested a trade from the Jaguars on Monday, so if the Patriots are willing to give up a first round pick for some help in the secondary, there's still an elite option out there. However, New England's corner group has been exceptional during the first two weeks of 2019. 

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New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian injured on Monday Night Football

New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian injured on Monday Night Football

The New York Jets are playing the New England Patriots in Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season. And ahead of that game, it looks like they could be down their top two quarterbacks.

The Jets were already without their starting quarterback Sam Darnold as the second-year passer battles mono. But against the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football, they may have lost their backup quarterback too.

In the second quarter of the game, Trevor Siemian was hurt after taking a hit from Myles Garrett. On the play, Siemian bent over backward awkwardly and appeared to injure his ankle in the process. While he was able to hobble off the field, he went to the locker room almost immediately. He was a woeful 3 of 6 for just 3 passing yards while being sacked twice before the injury knocked him out. 

If Siemian can't play in Week 3 against the Patriots, they will be still be licking their chops as they look at the resume of his backup. Siemian was replaced by third-string quarterback Luke Falk who has been on three different teams (Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, Jets) since being a sixth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He hadn't played an NFL snap before entering Monday night's game.

While the Patriots were likely looking forward to facing Siemian, they'll hardly complain if given a chance to face Falk in what could be his first NFL start. Their defense has been stellar to start the season, so they shouldn't have much of a problem containing a Falk-led Jets attack.

Perhaps they'll be able to build on their historic start to the season as they look to start the season 3-0 with two divisional victories.

Phil Perry's Report Card: Pats D gets straight A's in win>>>

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