With the Patriots getting ready for the Detroit Lions on Saturday, there are some interesting things to note on this Tuesday afternoon.
Heading into the third game of most preseason contests is the fact that this one is generally considered to be the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season, with most starters generally expected to play into the third quarter. It’s tough to speculate just how Bill Belichick will handle this one, but the early indications seem to be that we’ll see some starters and could even potentially see an appearance by Albert Haynesworth for the first time during game action. He’s been ‘day-to-day’ for a while now, so hopefully Saturday ends up being that day.
Although most fans are probably torn. As interesting and exciting as they’ve been watching the Patriots defense terrorize the Jags and Bucs offenses, there’s always the other side of me hoping that there aren’t any injuries. So far this preseason, we’ve already seen some close calls, but we’ve also seen one guy end up on injured reserve. Brett Lockett was carted off the field and lost for the year last Thursday, and in the fourth quarter Danny Woodhead took a helmet-to-helmet shot that knocked him out of the game and later out of pads for the upcoming practices. Woodhead was back in pads for the first time Tuesday, but hopefully he doesn’t suffer any lingering effects. Linebacker Dane Fletcher is also in a cast after suffering a broken thumb early in the contest.
Second-year receiver Taylor Price missed last week’s game just one week after catching 5 balls for 105 yards in a game where he took a helmet-to-helmet shot of his own that resulted in a $20,000 fine for Jacksonville linebacker Mike Lockley. Price only recently returned to practice, although several media reports said he had suffered a ‘leg injury’.
Brady will have to keep an eye on Ndamukong Suh Saturday. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
However, one of the things that’s worth pointing out is the fact they’re going up against Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, who has already been hit with a $20,000 fine for a hit on Bengals rookie QB Andy Dalton. Suh has been quite a force so far in the league, finishing last year with 17 quarterback hits and 10 sacks. Following the fine Suh reacted on Twitter with “$20,000REALLY???” followed by 108 exclamation marks and the hashtags #NFL and #BIGFAIL.
Tom Brady recognized yesterday that he’ll need to keep an eye on where Suh is on the field, and feels that the guys up front will have their hands full.
“Yeah, he’s dangerous, believe me,” Brady said during his weekly interview with WEEI yesterday. “They played the Bengals a few weeks ago, and the first play of the game he knocked the guard back into the quarterback on a five-step drop and hit him just as he was releasing it.
“So Logan (Mankins) and (Dan) Connolly have their work cut out for them this week. He’s a hell of a player.”
Hopefully the money Suh already spent will be enough of a deterrent to keep him away from Brady this weekend.
Some other notes from today:
- Christopher Price of WEEI.com reports that the following players were not on the field for the start of practice: Stevan Ridley, Leigh Bodden, Shane Vereen, Josh Barrett, Kevin Faulk, Malcolm Williams, Eric Kettani, Jeff Tarpinian, Dane Fletcher, Brandon Spikes, Marcus Cannon, Ryan Wendell, Brandon Deaderick, Nate Solder, Lee Smith, Jermaine Cunningham, Ron Brace and Mike Wright. Price reports that Albert Haynesworth and Gary Guyton joined Woodhead as guys who were back on the practice field this afternoon.
- Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald caught up with Patriots defensive lineman Shaun Ellis, who may see his first game action this Saturday out in Detroit against the Lions. Ellis, who is recovering from a hip injury, said that it’s more about the mental aspect of the game where he’s putting his focus. “For me, it’s the meeting room,” Ellis said. “I’ve played a lot of games. So, (it’s about) just getting my mental reps and things in practice. When I start going fully, it’ll come back to me.”
- Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com has notes from Bill Belichick’s press conference where he discusses cornerback Lee Bodden. With Bodden back in camp for the first time since going on injured reserve thanks to a shoulder injury back on August 31st of last year, Belichick seems to like what he’s seen so far from his veteran. “Leigh has had a good camp,” Belichick said. “He’s played both inside and outside. It looks like he’s healthy. When he’s had a chance to participate, he’s taken a lot of snaps, and it looks like he’s done fine.”
- Mike Reiss also has some good quotes from Jerod Mayo’s media session, and the veteran linebacker has some words of wisdom for some of the second year players. “You never want to get too comfortable,” said Mayo. “You think you know everything going into Year 2, but you don’t. You have to continue to work hard in the playbook and on the field.”
- Andy Hart of Patriots.com throws out an interesting theory this afternoon. Unlike the start of last year where the Patriots were in tough shape with their depth at the cornerback position, New England suddenly finds themselves with a group that has Devin McCourty, Bodden, Kyle Arrington, and Ras-I Dowling just to name a few. Hart wonders what that means for guys like Jonathan Wilhite and Darius Butler, both of which are finding themselves potentially without a real role with this football team. The Giants recently suffered three big losses in their secondary, and Hart feels this could be a situation for the Patriots to make a deal to potentially recover some draft picks.
That’s it for now. For more updates, or if you just want to talk some football, you can also follow me on Twitter @ianlogue.