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Brown still on deck

Veteran WR is itching to get back on the field

FOXBOROUGH - With Richard Seymour returning to action Sunday and wide receiver Chad Jackson and cornerback Eddie Jackson now in their third week of practice, wide receiver Troy Brown is the lone Patriot who started the season on the physically unable to perform list who remains sidelined.

Brown, the Patriots' all-time leader in receptions, has yet to get on the practice field in his 15th season. The Patriots have until next week to begin practicing Brown, who had offseason knee surgery.

Speaking last night at his celebrity bingo charity event at Gillette Stadium, which benefited the Inner City Scholarship Fund and Celebrities for Charity, Brown wasn't sure when he'll be running a comeback route to the field.

"I don't know," he said. "I'll be at work tomorrow, that's all I can tell you. I'm just going one day at a time and hopefully the call comes and I'll be ready to go, hopefully."

He said that Seymour's return didn't make him any more eager to play.

"I've been itchy," Brown said. "Any time I'm not playing I'm itchy, but you know I'm just doing what I can to get ready to go. Every day I'm working out and trying to get better and hopefully, when the time is right I'll be ready to go."

Brown intimated that he wouldn't have come back if he didn't think he was physically capable of playing.

"I wanted to come back, and I wanted to be able to contribute physically and not just be a helping presence," he said. "That's just the way I am. I like to compete and that's what it is all about. We'll see what happens here and see if things work out. But all in all I'm happy. The team is doing well. It's a lot easier to sit back and watch when we're doing well than to see us struggling and not be able to help us."

Belichick mum on criticism

Patriots coach Bill Belichick had little response to the comments of Redskins linebacker Randall Godfrey, who criticized the coach for going for it on fourth down twice in the fourth quarter of New England's 52-7 victory. At 38-0, the Patriots converted a fourth and 1 early in the quarter, then threw out of the shotgun on fourth and 2 from the Washington 37 with a 45-0 lead and 7:16 left.

Godfrey told NBCSports.com that he approached Belichick after the game and told him he needed to "show some respect for the game."

"You look at all the great head coaches . . . I'm just disappointed," Godfrey told NBCSports.com. "You got to show some class, show some respect. Joe Gibbs? We wouldn't have done that. Bill Walsh? You wouldn't see those types of guys doing that stuff. I've never seen nothing like that. Most teams, you get up like that you sit on the ball and try to run the time out. They're up 30-some points and they're throwing deep. That was blatant disrespect. . . . This isn't like college going for power rankings. This is the pros, you show some respect, show some class."

When asked about possibly piling on, Belichick said, "Well, Randall is entitled to his opinion. You can talk to him about that. I'm sure he'll give it to you."

Belichick said the alternative was kicking a field goal to make it 41-0 on the first fourth down or attempting a 55-yard field goal on the second.

Tight end troubles

As they prepare to face one of the NFL's best tight ends in Dallas Clark of the Colts, the Patriots also potentially could be facing another type of tight end dilemma: Do they have enough healthy ones?

The Patriots have been without Benjamin Watson the past two games because of a sprained left ankle suffered against the Cowboys Oct. 14. Watson has not practiced since. In Sunday's win over the Redskins, 13-year veteran Kyle Brady was knocked out of the game in the second quarter and did not return, although his injury is not a long-term situation. Brady's absence left the Patriots with just Marcellus Rivers as a pure tight end on the 45-man game-day roster.

An adept blocker, Brady's presence figures to be especially important against the Colts, as the Patriots traditionally have used tight ends to assist in pass protection against dangerous pass-rushing ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.

Special duty for Gutierrez

Rookie quarterback Matt Gutierrez played on the kickoff coverage team against Washington. He replaced safety Rodney Harrison on a third-quarter kickoff. Gutierrez had played on special teams in the Patriots' final exhibition game as well. Belichick was asked if Gutierrez had lobbied for the duty. "He's a rookie," Belichick said. "Rookies do what they're told. They try to learn what to do and do what they're told." . . . After Sunday's victory, cornerback Asante Samuel spoke to the media while clutching the ball from his second-quarter interception of Jason Campbell. The pick was his fourth of the season and 20th of his career, placing him 11th on the team's all-time list . . . The Patriots re-signed defensive lineman Santonio Thomas to their practice squad. Thomas had been released last Thursday, clearing a spot on the 53-man roster for Seymour, who was activated off the PUP list Saturday. To make room for Thomas, the team released former Boston College offensive lineman Pat Ross from the practice squad . . . Belichick had kind words for the Red Sox, congratulating them on their second World Series title since 2004. "Terry [ Francona], eight straight World Series wins - that's awesome," Belichick said. "[It was] a great day for the Red Sox last night and all of the Boston sports fans.' . . . With the win over the Redskins, Belichick now has recorded at least one victory over all 32 NFL teams as a head coach, and Tom Brady has defeated every one of the other 31 teams in the league.

Mike Reiss of the Globe staff contributed to this report

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