|09.19.14 at 5:16 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Shane Vereen (shoulder) and Jamie Collins (thigh) were among six Patriots players listed as questionable Friday on the final injury report before the home opener against the Raiders Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Ryan Wendell and Alfonzo Dennard were also listed as questionable. Dennard, Wendell and Collins all missed last Sunday’s game in Minnesota, with Dennard being added to the injury report officially this week.
A total of 10 Patriots were again listed as limited at sweats and shells practice on Friday as the Patriots had perfect attendance for a second straight day. Dan Connolly, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Sealver Siliga were also limited but all are designated as “probable” to play.
For the Raiders, linebacker Sio Moore (ankle) did not practice all week and has been ruled out for Sunday in Foxboro. Receiver Rod Streater (hip) practiced Friday for the first time this week and is questionable. Streater is one of seven Raiders listed as questionable, joining running back Maurice Jones-Drew (hand) and corner Carlos Rogers (knee). Defensive lineman Justin Tuck (illness) was at full strength Friday and is probable.
Here’s the complete report:
S Don Jones (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE
DE Michael Buchanan (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
RB Shane Vereen (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
OL Ryan Wendell (knee) QUESTIONABLE
LB Jamie Collins (thigh) QUESTIONABLE
CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
OL Dan Connolly (knee) PROBABLE
WR Julian Edelman (back) PROBABLE
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) PROBABLE
DT Sealver Siliga (hand) PROBABLE
|09.19.14 at 5:11 pm ET|
In the wake of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s press conference Friday afternoon, several current and former players took to Twitter to mock the commissioner and his performance. Here’s a sampling of some of their reactions:
I'm too busy to be accountable. #RogerGoodell
— Matt Chatham (@chatham58) September 19, 2014
Now we take you live to Roger Goodell's PR team for comment. pic.twitter.com/4dWzuyg8O4
What Roger just said is the exact same thing that players say when they make a mistake and plead their case
Boo this man… Ã°»
This press conference is pointless
Anyone who thinks this press conference was going to be productive, shame on you. Lol
Judging by the tweets I am happy I studied film & worked through Roger's presser. Not interested in throwing up today!!!!
|09.19.14 at 4:11 pm ET|
In a press conference that ran just shy of 45 minutes, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged Friday afternoon that “over the past several weeks, we have seen all too much of the NFL doing wrong, [and] that starts with me.”
In his first public statements in over a week, Goodell addressed many of the questions that have arisen in the wake of several high-profile domestic violence cases involving the NFL, as well as the league’s handling of those situations. In the case of the Ray Rice incident, Goodell said they mishandled that case, adding that the “same mistakes can never be repeated.”
Goodell spoke about the league’s handling of the Rice incident, saying that initial account given to the league by Rice was “inconsistent” with what was later revealed on video.
“I’m telling you right now it’s inconsistent with what he told us,” Goodell said.
Goodell was also quizzed about a statement from law enforcement officials saying they had no record of an NFL request for information on the case.
“We gather almost entirely all of our information through law enforcement, and that’s something else we’re going to look at,” he said. “We asked for it on several occasions. According to our security department, we went through it, we asked for it on several occasions.”
Goodell said he has not considered resigning at any point during this, adding, “I’m focused on doing my job.” He was asked about the possibility of giving up some of his power when it came to disciplinary cases, and said that “everything was on the table.”
He added that as far as he knows, he has the support of the league’s owners.
“I believe I have the support of the owners,” he said. “That has been clear to me.
“I’m focused on doing my job,” he added. “We have a lot of work to do.”
The league announced sizable new plans to try and stamp out domestic abuse and sexual assault. The new policy would mandate that all players and staff on the league’s 32 teams undergo education and training about how to prevent abuse. The training and education sessions will begin within the next month, the commissioner said.
Late Thursday, Goodell sent a memo to teams announcing a partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline as well as the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC). The league will provide financial and promotional support to both groups.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|09.19.14 at 3:11 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Brandon LaFell admits he’s still not quite on the same page with Tom Brady but he’s getting there. With all the talk this week about the trust factor between Brady and the receiving corps, LaFell was asked Friday his feelings on where his rapport stands with the quarterback.
LaFell caught six passes for 59 yards in the preseason, including a 25-yard TD from Jimmy Garoppolo. But he has yet to catch a pass from Brady in the first two games that count. He was targeted six times in the opener and didn’t catch a ball. Last week, he didn’t even get targeted. Is he having trouble getting on the same page?
“I think the guys that have been here, they’ve got a better understanding of where Tom wants them to be,” LaFell said. “More so than me. But I think I’m getting there, the more and more reps I get in practice, I think I’m getting there. I’m not where I wanna be yet, but I think I’m getting there.”
LaFell says he’s working on that chemistry at at every possible free moment around the complex.
“His locker right next to mine. In the morning before practice, during practice,” LaFell added. “When the defense on the field, when we on the other field running routes and doing things like that. So we talk a lot.”
Who starts the conversations?
“Tom. If he sees me standing around I’m not doing anything, if there’s a special teams period I’m not involved in. ‘Hey, LaFell. Let’s go. Let’s go to the other field.’ Run whatever routes they got me running that week. He pulls me aside every time he sees me standing not doing anything.
“On the field, he is the coach. When we line up on Sundays [we] listen to the coaches all week, but on Sundays, it’s what 12′s saying in the huddle, that’s what goes.”
The other issue LaFell is facing is competition from Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson, a competition that ramped up last week when Dobson returned and Thompkins was a healthy scratch. All three are downfield threats. But it’s pretty clear that all three are not likely to be active at once, barring injury.
|09.19.14 at 2:19 pm ET|
Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo, who missed Thursday practice as he became a father for the third time, made his weekly appearance with Middays with MFB on Friday to preview Sunday’s home opener against the Raiders.
The Raiders come in at 0-2, but Mayo said the Patriots aren’t overlooking them.
“This is the third game of the season. Some teams are 0-2, but it really doesn’t describe how a team is,” Mayo said. “This is a veteran-led team. They have a of older guys, a lot guys who know how to play football in this league and have won a lot of games. So we’re not overlooking Oakland at all. Obviously we’re excited to open up here at Gillette. Hopefully it’s a good game.”
Derek Carr is the only rookie quarterback starting this season, and the second-round pick from Fresno State has shown some promise.
Said Mayo: “He has a huge arm. He’s also very mobile. He’ll get outside the pocket. A lot of people don’t talk too much about his athleticism, but this guy can run. He can make all the throws. And he seems like he’s a smart guy. They’re obviously not trying to do too much with him, being a rookie, but at the same time, he can make all the throws and make all the plays. It will be a challenge for us up front trying to get pressure on him as well, and in the back covering these receivers.”
Fellow linebacker Dont’a Hightower is off to a strong start this season.
“Ever since I came into the league, he’s always been a student of the game. He’s always studying,” Mayo said.”I think it starts in the classroom. This guy’s asking questions, asking questions, asking the right questions. And it’s translating over to the field. He’s a very big, athletic guy that can run, and he can do a lot of different things for us. He’s a versatile player. Whatever the coaches ask him to do, he’s willing to do, and he’s been helping us these first couple of weeks.”
The Patriots defense dominated the Vikings on Sunday after allowing a touchdown on the first series, helping New England to a 30-7 victory.
“Obviously the score says it all. We were excited about that. We were able to get after him early in the game. I think it’s all about winning first down, getting those long-yardage situations — second-and-10, third-and-8 — and then letting those guys pin their ears back and get after the quarterback. It was exciting to see last week. We’re on to Oakland now, and we have to continue to build on that.”
|09.19.14 at 1:17 pm ET|
ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined Middays with MFB on Friday to talk about commissioner Roger Goodell, who is scheduled to break his silence and address the media in a press conference Friday afternoon. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
“This is essentially him coming out to defend the league, to admit wrongdoing, because I think everybody would agree that the league just got this wrong along the way,” Schefter said. “There are so many layers to this and so many levels to it that the league just messed up. And they’re going to have to own it. And we’ve heard the owners say, ‘Oh, we want to make it right, we want to get it right.’ And I’m sure you’re going to hear Roger Goodell utter a similar message. But I would think and hope that you would expect more from Roger Goodell. He’s the leader of the NFL. He’s making $44 million a year. He’s the most important man arguably in all of sports. Somebody with that power, with that responsibility, should have an incredible message to deliver today. We’ll see what that is.”
Schefter said he isn’t sure what Goodell will be allowed to say based on the legality of the situation, but he’s hopeful the commissioner is forthcoming.
“I think Roger Goodell has to be as transparent as possible. Period,” Schefter said. “Now, there may be certain legal limits as to what he can say about Robert Mueller’s investigation or whatever it may be. But I think it’s in everyone’s best interests for Roger Goodell to be as transparent and as honest as possible.”
Regarding the possibility that Goodell punishes himself for the league’s mishandling of the recent issues, Schefter said that’s unlikely.
“I think there’s a disconnect between the public perception of Roger Goodell and the ownership’s feelings on Roger Goodell,” Schefter said. “I think the public, by and large, disapproves of the job he’s done, has lost respect for his leadership skills and abilities, questions his credibility, and has less faith in him than it’s ever had. I think we all could agree with that, that’s the universal public feeling — not universal, the majority of the public.
“I think ownership still believes that Roger Goodell has done a great job. He procured a tremendous CBA for the owners. He’s got television contracts that are lucrative beyond words. He got labor peace. He brought stability and profitability to the NFL. And so the owners, by and large, are very happy with Roger Goodell. Now, I think, and I’ve spoken to some who are curious to see what Robert Mueller’s investigation turns up. And should it turn up that he lied, which is going to be difficult to prove, I think, but should it somehow be proven, then he’s going to be out of office.
“But it’s one thing to say that he’s going to be out of office and it’s going to be proven that way, and it’s another thing to actually go do it. I am skeptical that they’ll be able to find that evidence or prove it, that he blatantly lied. Now, in the bylaws of the NFL constitution it talks about having the best interests of the league at heart and reflecting positively, and I think we all could debate whether or not that’s happened over the last few months.
“But I don’t see Roger Goodell saying, ‘And because we missed the Ray Rice decision I’m going to find me four game checks,’ or, ‘suspend me for two weeks,’ or whatever it may be, because ownership believes in him.”
|09.19.14 at 12:19 pm ET|
For a second straight day, the Patriots had perfect attendance at practice Friday.
Three players were wearing black jerseys, signifying their achievement as practice players of the week. Practice squad running back Jonas Gray, practice squad linebacker Ja’Gared Davis and defensive lineman Joe Vellano were all wearing their black jerseys on Friday as the team worked out in sweats and shells.
Ten players were listed as limited from Thursday’s practice, including Don Jones, who is nursing a hamstring injury. Julian Edelman (back), Rob Gronkowski (knee) and Jamie Collins (thigh) were also listed as limited Thursday but were out on the field practicing again Friday.
The Patriots are continuing preparation for their home opener this weekend against the Raiders.
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