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Patriots notebook

No update on Woodhead status

By Monique Walker
Globe Staff / August 20, 2011

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After proving valuable in 14 games last season, Danny Woodhead hasn’t been given a pass this preseason.

So there he was on punt coverage against Tampa Bay with less than seven minutes remaining in the Patriots’ 31-14 win Thursday night. The unit included Woodhead, and players fighting for roster spots.

Seconds after the punt, Woodhead took a crushing hit from Tampa Bay’s Devin Holland. Woodhead jumped up, but wobbled until linebacker Niko Koutouvides and other teammates rushed to catch him.

Woodhead said after the game that he felt fine, but many questioned why he was in the game at that point.

“When we go into any game, all players are told to be ready to play the entire 60 minutes,’’ coach Bill Belichick said yesterday. “That’s what a game is.

“We don’t stop playing. We don’t stop coaching. Everybody’s ready to play the whole time from beginning to end. That’s every player and every coach. That’s part of the game. That’s how we approach them all.’’

Belichick didn’t have an update on Woodhead and wouldn’t say whether he will be limited in practice.

“We’ll see how they are when they come back in [today],’’ Belichick said. “It usually takes 24-48 hours to sort things out.’’

Safety first Safety James Ihedigbo, who played at UMass and is a native of Northampton, signed with the Patriots yesterday.

Ihedigbo, who was undrafted in 2007, had played the previous three seasons with the Jets.

The Patriots needed depth at safety after Bret Lockett was carted off the field Thursday with a groin injury.

James Sanders already was out with an undisclosed injury.

The Patriots also placed rookie linebacker Christian Cox on injured reserve with a neck injury suffered in the preseason opener against Jacksonville.

Positive sign First-round pick Nate Solder’s performance against the Buccaneers got a positive review from Belichick.

Solder started at left tackle, entrusted with protecting quarterback Tom Brady’s blind side for the first time.

“I think Nate’s had a couple of good weeks,’’ Belichick said. “I’m sure he learned a lot of things [Thursday night]. [He] did some good things. I think he built on last week’s game.

“There are still things that are coming up and that will continue to come up, I’m sure, on a weekly basis . . . but he’s making progress. He’s working hard. I think he’s competitive in every phase of the game.’’

Come on in The Patriots worked out linebacker Ricky Brown and receiver Mark Clayton yesterday, according to a league source . . . Today’s practice, from 1:30-2:30 behind Gillette Stadium, will be the last of camp open to the public.

Greg A. Bedard of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Monique Walker can be reached at mwalker@globe.com.

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