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New England Patriots News 10-9, AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
Steve Balestrieri on Twitter
October 9, 2016 at 5:00 am ET

New England Patriots News 10-9, AFC East Notes(PHOTO: Steve Balestrieri - PatsFans.com)

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Good morning, here are Sunday’s Patriots news 10-9, and AFC East Notes for this week.

Wasn’t the Brady “Revenge Tour” a Year Ago?
Certain narratives tend to get old and the pet peeve this week is the “Brady Revenge Tour” begins in Cleveland this week. Enough already. That was done last year and it got old by the time the Patriots rolled out of Dallas which was just about a year ago.

Why does everything have to have a name attached to it these days anyway? Maybe being a stick in the mud here, but do we really need to have a TE Party 2, the Edelmandola, and now the Brady Revenge Tour 2?

Can’t we all just be happy that the best in the business is back at his craft this weekend and we’re all privileged to have a front-row seat?

Brissett to IR for Thumb Injury:
Well, that didn’t take long. With Brady back today, the Patriots placed QB Jacoby Brissett on IR for his injured thumb which supposedly he had surgery on Friday.

Brissett is still eligible to come off IR later this season although that possibility, at least now seems remote. Much can change in a few weeks. Brissett was drafted in the 3rd round (91st overall) of this season’s NFL Draft.

He appeared in three games and started two and completed 34-of-55 passes for 400 yards. He also had 16 rushing attempts for 83 yards including the 27-yard touchdown run against the Texans during Week 3’s game.

He injured his thumb during the win over Houston, but he put off surgery until Brady’s suspension was finished, and played hurt a week ago. Now with Brady’s return and Garoppolo’s having an extra week to heal and be ready for backup duty, Brissett’s injury can be dealt with.

Gronk Hot Takes… Trade Bait? Not anytime soon:
With no QB controversy to discuss because of Jimmy G.’s injury, the latest rumor to be started by certain members of the media was the innocuous statement that Rob Gronkowski could be a surprise trade “somewhere down the road.”

Which of course led to the click-bait headlines that the Pats were “actively shopping Gronkowski”, to which we respectfully reply… bunk. While we don’t have any inside information on this topic one way or another, the Patriots aren’t trading Gronkowski in 2016. Yes, he’s banged up and frequently is, because of the manner in which he plays the game. But there still isn’t anyone better in doing what he does in the NFL.

Anyone can be traded, “somewhere down the road”. We’ve seen it with Logan Mankins and Richard Seymour and could certainly happen with Gronk.  No one is immune to it, but that isn’t happening anytime soon. And especially this year.

The team has taken a cautious approach with him early this season and for a good reason. They want him and more importantly NEED him to be active and healthy in January, not in September. While he wasn’t frequently targeted by Brissett in his two starts, something tells me that is going to change…starting today with Brady.

Cooper to Be Released, Hamilton Added to Active Roster:
Guard Jonathan Cooper who came over in the Chandler Jones trade is being released, per Field Yates of ESPN. It was announced earlier that the team was activating DL Woodrow Hamilton from the practice squad.

Cooper is a talented but oft-injured guard that was once a 1st round draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals. He came to the Patriots and promptly got all the starting reps during the OTAs and mini-camp this spring. But on the first day of training camp with full pads, he injured his foot and it was later reported he is suffering from plantar fasciitis.

Hamilton is a rookie UDFA from Mississippi who was cut after training camp but brought back to the practice squad. He’s a big, 6’3, 315-pound run stuffer who will back up Alan Branch and Malcom Brown this week with Vincent Valentine out with a back injury.

Who Do You Like This Week:
Was 6-8 picking last week’s slate which brings me to 34-28 on the year. So, who do you like today?

I am going with for the games on tap today Arizona (picked last Sunday), NE, Philly, Indy, Miami, Baltimore, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Denver, Cincy, LA, Oakland, Green Bay and Carolina. Teams on Bye Week, Jax, KC, NO, and Seattle.

Early pick for Thursday Night Football, (Denver over SD).

Eastbound and Down, AFC East Notes:

Bills Get Back Dareus, Place Salas on IR:
The Buffalo Bills activated DL Marcel Dareus for this week’s game against the LA Rams. Dareus was suspended for the first four games of 2016 for violating the league’s rules against performance-enhancing drugs.

He’s expected to play this week and coach Rex Ryan has confirmed that but how much remains to be seen. Dareus played just a dozen snaps in the preseason against the Colts. With game time temps hovering around 80 degrees, it may take him time to get back into game shape. With Dareus back in the fold, they’ll do some shifting of players and responsibilities.

In a corresponding personnel move, the team placed WR Greg Salas on IR.

Dolphins Will Play Today and Maxwell Gets the Start:
Due to Hurricane Matthew, the status of the Dolphins home game against the Titans was up in the air as severe weather hit the state but for the most part spared South Florida the brunt of the worst devastation.

The other news of the day is with rookie CB Xavien Howard out with meniscus surgery, the team will turn back to veteran Byron Maxwell who was benched for the Cincinnati game. Starting alongside Maxwell will be Tony Lippett a converted wide receiver with great athleticism but is considered a very raw corner still.

Maxwell certainly is lacking for confidence, “I am ready to go. I am ready to play some football,” Maxwell said. “We’re going to celebrate it. We’re going to enjoy it. Being out there on Sunday. Because it can be taken from you at any time. For whatever reason, it can be taken. And I want to enjoy every moment. Being able to compete, have fun, and put on a show.”

The Dolphins should be in trouble facing a team with these starting corners, but luckily for them, they are facing the Titans today.

Jets Face Tough Test on the road in Pittsburgh:
The Jets will once again be without WR Eric Decker for today’s game against the Steelers as he has a partial tear of his rotator cuff in his right shoulder. With QB Ryan Fitzpatrick struggling the past two weeks, the Jets going into a game against the explosive Steelers offense isn’t great news. WR Quincy Enunwa was also added to the injury report with a knee injury.

But they’ll be facing a Steelers team with nine players already ruled out for Sunday’s game. LB Ryan Shazier and RT Marcus Gilbert have already been ruled out.  Further complicating matter for the Steelers is that CBs Justin Gilbert and Senquez Golson, FB Roosevelt Nix, WR Eli Rogers, and starting safety Robert Golden are out. Backup right tackle Ryan Harris and backup interior lineman Cody Wallace also are ruled out. If there is a time for the Jets to catch the Steelers, this is it.

Look for Fitzpatrick to play better against a secondary and pass rush that is struggling. But will the Jets hold out Revis today? Revis Island has had open borders this season and facing the Steelers passing game if he can’t go, leaves them thin.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

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About Steve Balestrieri

A former US Army Special Forces NCO and Officer, Steve has been following the Patriots since their days at Fenway Park. Steve has worked in the film industry and wrote as an Military Editor at SpecialOperations.com, 1945.com as a reporter for the Millbury Daily Voice, Millbury-Sutton Chronicle, and the Grafton News. He's also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)


Tags: 2016 NFL Season 2016 Patriots season Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Danny Amendola Dont'a Hightower Jabaal Sheard Jimmy Garoppolo Julian Edelman LaGarrette Blount Malcolm Butler Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets Patriots Patriots edge rushers predictions Rob Gronkowski Rob Ninkovich Tom Brady Trey Flowers

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