Patriots

Report: Patriots special teamer Brandon King likely out for the season

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Report: Patriots special teamer Brandon King likely out for the season

In the preseason, wins and losses are irrelevant. The number one thing teams hope for in these exhibition games is simple: just get through without getting hurt.

Unfortunately for the Patriots, a number of players went down against the Panthers — and the cost is severe.

According to the Globe's Jim McBride, Brandon King suffered a torn quadriceps Thursday night and will likely miss the season. King, a core special teamer for the Pats, went down during a second quarter punt return, and you could tell it was a serious injury when many of his teammates gathered around King as he was carted off the field.

King signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and has been extremely durable, playing in 68 of 75 games over the last four seasons.

McBride also reports than Ben Watson is in the concussion protocol after taking a late hit from Panthers safety Eric Reid in the first quarter Thursday night. Watson was already set to miss the first four games of the season due to a suspension, so there's no immediate on-field impact to the Patriots, but concussion symptoms can linger, so it'll be wait-and-see on Watson. For his part, Reid says he anticipates a fine for the hit.

King and Watson are the biggest injury concerns as of now, but they're not the only ones. Kyle Van Noy, Damien Harris, Gunner Olszewski, Lance Kendricks, Stephen Anderson, and Nate Ebner were also banged up Thursday night.

Popped & Dropped: Phil Perry's analysis from Pats-Panthers>>>>>

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Tom Brady praises Colin Kaepernick, calls upcoming workout 'pretty cool'

Tom Brady praises Colin Kaepernick, calls upcoming workout 'pretty cool'

The New England Patriots are one of 11 teams that will have a representative at Colin Kaepernick's workout Saturday.

Their starting quarterback is a fan of Kaepernick, who last played for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. In an interview Thursday night on Westwood One, host Jim Gray asked Brady if he thought a quarterback like Kaepernick could successfully return to the league after a three-year absence.

"I think being a pro quarterback is very challenging in and of itself," Brady told Gray. "To have time off is a challenge, but Colin's overcome a lot of challenges in his career, and he's always found a way to produce.

"He's very mentally tough, and I think it's pretty cool that he's getting that opportunity."

Brady has been supportive of Kaepernick in the past, admitting in 2017 he's always "admired" the ex-Niners QB after San Francisco beat the Patriots in Foxboro in 2012 and expressing his hope that another team sign Kaepernick.

That didn't happen, of course: Kaepernick went unclaimed in 2017 free agency after protesting racial inequality and social injustice in America by sitting and/or kneeling during the national anthem.

The Patriots have been loosely speculated as a team that could sign the 32-year-old as Brady's backup. At the very least, it appears the 42-year-old respects Kaepernick -- wherever he ends up.

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Patriots Talk Podcast: Reuben Frank on how SB52 changed expectations in Philly; Patriots edge over Eagles

Patriots Talk Podcast: Reuben Frank on how SB52 changed expectations in Philly; Patriots edge over Eagles

More Patriots-Eagles matchup talk ahead of the Super Bowl 52 rematch Sunday in Philly, plus NBC Sports Philly's Reuben Frank joins Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry to talk about lasting impact the Eagles' Super victory had on the franchise.

2:30 - Phil Perry and Tom Curran break down the Eagles offensive advantages over the Patriots, including their success in two-tight end sets. Should Stephon Gilmore shadow Zach Ertz to try and lock him down?

10:50 - The Eagles offensive line has been one of the best in the league this year and could allow Philly's run game to break out vs. the Patriots.

14:53 - Tom argues that the Patriots' biggest advantage over the Eagles is their top-ranked secondary.

18:22 - Phil explains how the Patriots hurry-up offense could be used to tire out the Eagles' strong pass rush.

22:26 - Reuben Frank from NBC Sports Philadelphia joins Tom and Phil to talk about the Eagles Super Bowl 52 win over the Patriots, the expectations that win put on the city, and just how bad the Eagles wide receiver corps is this season.

37:40 - Tom caught up with Ben Watson to get his take on the workout being held for Colin Kaepernick.

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