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Patriots notebook

Wright placed on IR

By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / January 8, 2011

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As weeks passed without defensive lineman Mike Wright returning to practice, it seemed inevitable that the versatile veteran would end up on injured reserve.

Wright suffered a concussion against the Colts Nov. 21, and yesterday the Patriots ended his season by placing him on IR. The team was holding out hope that Wright would return to practice, but he has not even been seen in the locker room by media since a few days before the Indianapolis game.

Although he missed the final six regular-season games, Wright still led the Patriots with 5 1/2 sacks.

New England has depth problems on its defensive line heading into the postseason. Ron Brace was recently placed on IR with an elbow injury, and Myron Pryor left last Sunday’s game against Miami after being poked in the eye. He is fine now and practiced this week.

Wright is the 14th player New England has placed on IR this season. The team has had so many injuries that it ran out of permanent lockers and had to add metal auxiliary ones a couple of weeks ago.

Deaderick reinstated A league source confirmed the Patriots reinstated rookie defensive end Brandon Deaderick from the reserve/suspended list. Deaderick was placed on the list a few days ago.

It is believed the seventh-round pick out of Alabama had been late to and/or missed several team meetings, leading to the suspension.

Placing Wright on IR opened up a roster spot to reinstate Deaderick. The Patriots will have to make another roster move Monday, when the seven-day exemption received when Brandon Spikes was reinstated from his four-game suspension runs out.

Wilfork fined $10K After his first sack of the season resulted in a flag for unnecessary roughness last Sunday, it seemed that Vince Wilfork would be getting a FedEx envelope from the NFL this week.

Wilfork was penalized for helmet-to-helmet contact with Miami quarterback Chad Henne, but his $10,000 fine was for driving Henne into the ground, according to an NFL spokesman.

It was the second time this season that Wilfork has been fined by the league. He was docked $5,000 for a facemask penalty against the Packers Dec. 19.

Miami defensive lineman Paul Soliai was also fined $10,000, for hitting Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer in the head and neck area.

Greg A. Bedard of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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