Patriots

Patriots TE Matt LaCosse (ankle) likely out for Week 1 vs. Steelers

Patriots TE Matt LaCosse (ankle) likely out for Week 1 vs. Steelers

The New England Patriots are dealing with a couple of injuries to pass-catching weapons ahead of their Week 1 opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. And in the contest, it appears that they are going to be shorthanded at the tight end position.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Patriots are likely to be without tight end Matt LaCosse for Week 1. LaCosse suffered a preseason ankle injury and hasn't seen the field since the team took on the Detroit Lions in the first week of the NFL preseason.

With LaCosse likely out, Ryan Izzo will be the only tight end available for the Patriots. Izzo, a seventh-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, made the team primarily due to his solid blocking skills. Ben Watson and Lance Kendricks are both suspended for this game.

LaCosse was expected to open the season as the team's starter at tight end a year after logging a career-high 24 catches for 250 yards and a touchdown for the Denver Broncos. His new goal will be to get on the field in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins.

As for Demaryius Thomas, as Rapoport mentioned, the team plans to be "cautious" with him, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him sit. That would open up more opportunities for Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman in the passing game while Phillip Dorsett would likely serve as the team's third receiver.

The recently-signed Antonio Brown won't be eligible to play in Week 1, so his presence won't have an impact on Thomas, at least for this week.

As game-time draws nearer, we'll have more injury updates on the Patriots including the latest news on their inactive players against the Steelers.

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Robert Kraft has brief first comment on Patriots-Bengals taping controversy

Robert Kraft has brief first comment on Patriots-Bengals taping controversy

Patriots owner Robert Kraft's first public comment on the controversy surrounding a team production crew being investigated by the NFL for allegedly taping the Cincinnati Bengals sideline during the Bengals game in Cleveland on Sunday was brief.

"You know everything you should know," Kraft said while declining to talk to reporters, including Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, after walking out of a meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at previously scheduled league meetings in Dallas.  

The team released a statement Monday night acknowledging that their failure to inform the Bengals of the taping was an "unintended oversight" and admitted the video crew unknowingly broke league rules by filming the field from the press box. 

The Patriots (10-3) visit the Bengals (1-12) this Sunday in Cincinnati 

Earlier Tuesday, coach Bill Belichick again insisted he had no knowledge or involvement in what the team production crew was doing and that it's a completely independent operation from the team.

The Athletic reported Tuesday that the tape shows about eight minutes of video that's focused directly on the Bengals sideline. 

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Patriots now have three practice squad openings after these departures

Patriots now have three practice squad openings after these departures

The New England Patriots have some more space available on their practice squad.

The recent departures of center Tyler Gauthier and defensive back Nate Brooks have opened two new spots, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

These moves bring the number of open spots on the Patriots practice squad to three. 

Brooks spent the last 13 weeks on the Patriots practice squad. His new head coach with the Miami Dolphins is Brian Flores, who was the Patriots' linebackers coach from 2016 through 2018. Gauthier signed with the Patriots in May as an undrafted free agent but never played in a game for New England.

Huggins was signed by the Patriots last week but was released this past weekend when the team needed to make room on the 53-man roster to add kicker Nick Folk.

Reiss also reported Tuesday that New England worked out former University of Georgia defensive back Jayson Stanley.

The Patriots play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Week 15 matchup is their final road game of the 2019 regular season.

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