FOXBOROUGH -- Linebacker Brandon Spikes returned to Patriots practice Thursday, and was listed as limited with a knee injury. He had missed Wednesday's workout because of a non-injury-related reason.
Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard missed practice because he was attending to a legal matter in a Nebraska courtroom. Only two Patriots were absent because of injury: offensive lineman Marcus Cannon (ankle) and wide receiver Aaron Dobson (foot).
According to the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star, which had a reporter in the courtroom, Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard had his probation modified Thursday, but the 30 days added to his jail sentence won't change the date on which he's scheduled to begin serving the time, which is after the football season.
FOXBOROUGH -- Shane Vereen said after practice Thursday that he still supports and has confidence in fellow running back Stevan Ridley, who sat out last Sunday's win at Houston after losing fumbles in each of the Patriots' three previous games.
FOXBOROUGH -- Eight days after being signed and three days after he made his Patriots debut, tight end D.J. Williams was waived by the club, according to the NFL transactions wire.
Williams played a limited number of snaps against the Texans and did not have a pass thrown his way. He spoke to the media after Wednesday's practice, with no hint that his time with the team was about to end.
Another tight end, Michael Hoomanawanui, was back at practice, giving the Patriots four tight ends on the field, along with Rob Gronkowski and Matt Mulligan. According to the team's depth chart, Williams was fourth among that group.FULL ENTRY
FOXBOROUGH -- Linebacker Brandon Spikes did not participate in Wednesday's practice, but his absence was not related to an injury, according to the Patriots' participation/injury report. Offensive lineman Marcus Cannon (ankle) and receiver Aaron Dobson (foot) were the other two Patriots not at practice.
Nine players were limited, including receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, who left Sunday's game with a hip injury.FULL ENTRY
FOXBOROUGH -- The Patriots practiced for the first time Wednesday in preparation for Sunday's home game against the Cleveland Browns, and a handful of players made themselves available to the media following the workout.FULL ENTRY
For the second straight week, the Patriots (9-3) rallied from a halftime defect and needed a game-winning kick from Stephen Gostkowski to seal the victories. Quarterback Tom Brady hopes that scenario doesn't repeat it self against the Cleveland Browns (4-8) this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.FULL ENTRY
Who starts at quarterback for the Browns on Sunday at Gillette Stadium? That's anybody's guess. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski, speaking on a teleconference Wednesday morning, called it "a fluid situation."FULL ENTRY
FOXBOROUGH – LB Brandon Spikes, WR Aaron Dobson and OL Marcus Cannon were not present for the media-access portion of Patriots practice on Wednesday, colleague Michael Whitmer reports.FULL ENTRY
FOXBOROUGH – Patriots coach Bill Belichick was in a good mood during his Wednesday morning press conference, so much so that he took an out-on-nowhere swipe at his personal and professional nemesis, the Jets.FULL ENTRY
The Patriots have an opportunity to clinch the AFC East outright for the fifth straight season, and 10th time in the past 11 years, by beating the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium Sunday, combined with a Dolphins loss at Pittsburgh.FULL ENTRY
On Monday morning, it was Bill Belichick who had no answer, as the head coach kept tight-lipped when asked about Texans’ defensive end Antonio Smith’s claims that the Patriots’ timely second-half adjustments were suspicious.
HOUSTON – The Patriots snapped a three-game road losing streak, which is probably the most notable side accomplishment for a team that just clinched its 13th straight winning season.
Beating the Houston Texans (2-10) certified New England's status as a team with no quit. They outscored their opponents 27-14 in the second half to win 34-31 at Reliant Stadium in Houston. That's two weeks with come-from-behind wins. The networks must love the Patriots.
As usual, there were a number of interesting tidbits from the game. Here are some that I thought were most noteworthy.
Watch a recap of the Patriots-Texans game.FULL ENTRY
HOUSTON -- It started last week against the Denver Broncos when the Patriots were down 24-0.
They outscored Peyton Manning and his cohorts 34-7 in the second half, leading to a 34-31 overtime win.
On Sunday, it was more of the same for the Patriots with another second half flurry. The Patriots were down 17-7 when they scored two quick third quarter touchdowns, a 1-yard run by James Develin and a 9-yard pass from Tom Brady to Shane Vereen, before finishing off the Houston Texans 34-31. The Patriots outscored Houston 27-14 in the second half.
HOUSTON -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick did not want to talk about running back Stevan Ridley, who was inactive for the team's 34-31 win over the Houston Texans Sunday.FULL ENTRY
HOUSTON -- Stephen Gostowski may have suffered, in the grand scheme of things, a small disappointment.
The eight-year kicker missed a 55-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter wide right, snapping a streak of 21 straight made field goals for the veteran. Had he made it, the field goal would've been the longest of his career. He certainly had the distance, but the trajectory was off.
But the missed attempt was a matter that needed shrugging off because he would get other opportunities. Gostkowski kicked two 53-yard field goals, tied for the second longest in his career, to tie the Texans in the fourth quarter and take the lead with 3:15 remaining, 34-31.
It was the second straight week in which he kicked the eventual game-winner and the fifth game-winning field goal of his career.FULL ENTRY
HOUSTON -- At one point in the season, all the way back in Week 7, the Patriots had mustered only nine points in the third quarter.
Their second half woes had led to losses against the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals. The offense was in disarray, missing at least one of its core players for the first 10 weeks of the season.
Now, with Rob Gronkowski and Shane Vereen back, everything is clicking. Against the Houston Texans on Sunday, the Patriots outscored their opponents 27-14 in the second half and 14-7 in the third quarter to take the victory, 34-31.FULL ENTRY