Patriots

Panthers plan to play Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey vs. Patriots

cam_newton_panthers_sidelines.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Photo

Panthers plan to play Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey vs. Patriots

Patriots fans have seen Tom Brady in uniform this preseason; they've just seen him on the sidelines during each of the team's first two preseason games.

But Brady isn't the only star who hasn't seen any preseason action so far this year; the Panthers have also held out quarterback Cam Newton, running back Christian McCaffrey, and linebacker Luke Kuechly to this point.

That's about to change this week, however. Carolina head coach Ron Rivera confirmed Monday that all three players will see action Thursday in Foxboro, along with the rest of the Panthers starters.

“They’ve been the gold standard for a long time,’’ Rivera said, via ESPN's David Newton. “You want to go out and see just how good you are. It is a good measuring stick as to who we can be as a football team.’’

Yet while Rivera was forthcoming about his plans for playing time, Bill Belichick played it closer to the vest Monday. When asked if Brady would play against Carolina, Belichick broke out a familiar refrain.

"As always, we’ll do what’s best for the football team — for each player, and for the team."

Click here for Phil Perry's 53-man Patriots roster projection>>>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Patriots promote FB Jakob Johnson off practice squad to replace injured Pat Develin vs Jets

Patriots promote FB Jakob Johnson off practice squad to replace injured Pat Develin vs Jets

The Patriots promoted fullback Jakob Johnson off their practice squad Saturday to replace the injured James Develin in Week 3 against the Jets. 

Develin missed all three of the Patriots' practices this week with a neck injury and was listed out on Friday. 

Johnson, an undrafted rookie out of the University of Tennessee and former German Football league player, will dress for his first game in the NFL. 

Johnson was originally recruited as a linebacker out of high school, but he made the transition to tight end while with the Volunteers. The Patriots turned him into a fullback, so the 24-year-old has shown a fair share of versatility over the course of his career. 

The Patriots usually find creative ways to utilize Develin in the passing game while sometimes giving him opportunities to punch in touchdowns on the goal line. There's a small chance Johnson gets that chance on Sunday, but who knows since the game will most likely be over by halftime. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Tom E. Curran's Patriots vs Jets Preview

Tom E. Curran's Patriots vs Jets Preview

TGIF. Thank God it’s football. The Patriots and their fanbase spent 11 days holding their collective nose, hoping the on-field magnificence of Antonio Brown would offset his toxicity off of it. Didn’t work. As O.J. Simpson so eloquently said on Twitter, “In any event, I don’t have to worry about that anymore. He’s gone.” 

So the Patriots are back where they were on the Friday before their season opener. Incredibly deep and talented on defense. Shallow at wideout and tight end. The wrinkle injected this weekend as they take on the Jets? The offensive line is banged up and they are missing their fullback. Will it matter to the bottom line? Doubtful. But the product may not look as omnipotent offensively as it did. Defensively? The Patriots can be the first team in the modern era to stop opponents from scoring a touchdown in the first three games.

CLICK HERE FOR THE GALLERY

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.