With the Patriots set to take on the Lions tonight, here are this morning’s top stories:

Our own Russ Goldman has this week’s edition of “5 Reasons to Watch”, and wonders what Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis can add to the Patriots defense.

Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe reports that those two players may actually not play tonight, citing a league source.

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com previews tonight’s game, and will be keeping an eye on safety Brandon Meriweather during the contest.

Albert Breer had an interesting article yesterday afternoon on Haynesworth, and believes that the former Redskin – not Bill Belichickwill decide just how hard he’ll play this season.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald also has his “5 Things to Watch”, and wonders how the linebackers will fare considering the injuries they’re currently dealing with.

Rapoport also writes that tonight’s game will be ‘as real as it gets’ when they face off against the Lions.

He also has an article on Nate Solder, who is trying to take his play to the next level here in the NFL.

Rapoport also spotlights the defensive line, with several key players battling for a spot on the roster.

Christopher Price of WEEI.com has “10 Things to Watch” for tonight’s game, including Andre Carter, who after watching what he’s done this preseason, Price can’t figure out why the Redskins ever let him go.

Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe has an article on the Patriots offensive line, who is expected to probably see their toughest test of this preseason tonight.

Rich Garven of the Worcester Telegram has an article this morning talking about the fact the starters are obviously going to see more time, and references some comments yesterday from Belichick - who has a limited number of chances to evaluate certain personnel groupings during these few preseason games.

ESPNBoston.com has a new “hot button” feature, with Mike Reiss and Chris Forsberg debating how long Tom Brady should play tonight.

Tim Weisberg of SouthCoastToday.com feels that tonight’s game should answer some key questions for this football team.

Monique Walker of the Boston Globe has an article on Myron Pryor, who is working his way back from a back injury that plagued him last season.

FoxSports.com has a national story on Brady, who doesn’t see the Patriots as Super Bowl favorites.

Cian Fahey of Irish Central has an interesting preview of New England’s runningbacks, with Fahey doubting Kevin Faulk will be on the roster.

Mike Reiss has quotes from a recent interview with Wes Welker, who talked about the fact he still has “doubters” despite catching more passes than any other receiver since 2007.

Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe has a good “On Football” column this morning, and talks about the fact that the pressure is on for some of the players due to the fact there are only so many roster spots avaiable.

Bedard also his “Five Things to Watch For”, which includes the fact he’ll be keeping an eye on the added bulk up front from Haynesworth and Ellis.

WEEI.com has audio from Patrick Chung’s interview yesterday on the radio station.

Glen Farley of EnterpriseNews.com has an article on Jeremy Ross, who is battling to try and earn a spot on this football team.

Paul Kenyon of the Providence Journal writes that looking back at training camp, the players did very well for themselves in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement considering there were no full contact double sessions, or any long consecutive streaks of practices.

That’s it for this morning.  We’ll have a couple of updates later on leading up to tonight’s game, so be sure and check back for updates.