Patriots

Trent Brown misses Patriots practice with illness Wednesday

Trent Brown misses Patriots practice with illness Wednesday

FOXBORO -- The Patriots wore sweats and helmets at Wednesday's walkthrough on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium. No jerseys.

That made attendance-taking difficult, but it wasn't difficult to see that the team's biggest player -- in the running as the league's biggest player -- wasn't out there.

Left tackle Trent Brown missed the workout with an illness, the Patriots announced Wednesday night. He was the only player who did not participate in the practice, which meant Rob Gronkowski (ankle/back), Shaq Mason (calf) and Sony Michel (knee) were all present.

That trio -- which missed Sunday night's game with the Packers -- was limited, as were Jacob Hollister (hamstring), Julian Edelman (ankle), Dont'a Hightower (knee), Cordarrelle Patterson (neck) and John Simon (shoulder). Edelman was dealing with an ankle issue going into last weekend's game and appeared to tweak something in his ankle or foot against the Packers, though he remained in the game.

James White, who appeared to suffer a leg injury in the second quarter with the Packers and was spotted on the bench after halftime last weekend with his leg wrapped, did not appear on the injury report.

White played through most of the second half, made a critical play on Edelman's double-pass and then scored on a goal-line run. He told us on Monday Night Patriots, "I just got a little nicked up, just had to shake it off, and I was fine after that."

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C.J. Anderson explains how Patriots shut down Rams offense In Super Bowl LIII

C.J. Anderson explains how Patriots shut down Rams offense In Super Bowl LIII

The Los Angeles Rams lost Super Bowl LIII in one of the most frustrating ways possible -- their very talented, high-scoring offense managed only a field goal in a 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots.

The Rams were held scoreless in the first half and couldn't find the end zone in the second half. Their most promising drive late in the fourth quarter ended when quarterback Jared Goff threw a pass that was intercepted by Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

So, what did the Patriots do to slow down the Rams' offense? 

“Bill (Belichick) does a great job of putting his team in the right position,” Rams running back C.J. Anderson said Tuesday on FOX Sports 1 show "Undisputed."

“They played great gap control against us. They gave us some different coverages that was not shown on tape. If anybody wants to go back and watch the Super Bowl — if you watch their season, 90 percent they've been in (man-to-man defense). They play a little zone (here and there) but they probably played 80 percent zone against us, because they probably didn’t think they had the best matchups.”

Why the change in defensive strategy for the Patriots?

 “I think it was to help stop our big plays," Anderson said. "Just from the outside when I was watching the Rams when they came on primetime, big plays got the offense going. The run game got the offense going. So if you slow down the run game and then you limited the big plays. Obviously, we had plenty against Dallas and then our big plays against New Orleans were just enough to find a way to win. I think (the Patriots) slowed down all our big plays, and it was kind of frustrating, and that’s kind of how the game went. It sucks.”

The Patriots did limit the Rams on the ground, holding L.A. to just 62 rushing yards on 18 carries (3.4 yards per attempts). New England's defense gave its best performance of the season when it mattered most, and that's one of the main reasons why the team won its sixth Lombardi Trophy.

 

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Rams' Anderson says Gurley was more injured than anyone thought in Super Bowl

Rams' Anderson says Gurley was more injured than anyone thought in Super Bowl

How were the Patriots able to limit the Rams' Todd Gurley in the Super Bowl?

His teammate, C.J. Anderson shed some light on it Tuesday.

Gurley led the NFL in combined rushing and receiving TDs in 2018 with 21, yet his usage in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl was curious - if he was truly healthy. 

Gurley had 10 carries in the 13-3 loss to the Patriots after having just four in the NFC title win over the Saints. Rams coach Sean McVay had said "knee inflammation" had slowed Gurley after he was injured Dec. 16 against the Eagles and Gurley and the team insisted he was healthy for the postseason.

Gurley's teammate, C.J. Anderson, whom the Rams signed to back up Gurley before Week 16, told FS1's "Undisputed" of his teammate,  “He was more hurt than what we thought,” Anderson said. “The injury was a little bit more than what everybody in the building thought, including himself.”

“Yeah, he’d never really tell me,” said Anderson, who added Gurley never was specific about the injury but indicated it was a sprained knee.

“It was tough. I would say sprained knee. Obviously, I had surgery on my meniscus and once you have a knee, you always have a knee. So it aggravates and if he was getting a lot of touches earlier in the year — obviously him being one of the best backs, that probably was the case."

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