FOXBOROUGH — Patriots receiver Brandon Lloyd, who missed a few plays after landing hard on his left shoulder late in Sunday’s 24-23 loss at Seattle, had a single-word response when asked about his health before Wednesday’s practice.
The injury report later in the day confirmed Lloyd’s diagnosis. He wasn’t one of the 14 Patriots listed following the walkthrough, and is preparing for Sunday’s home game against the New York Jets fully healthy. Well, at least as fully healthy as an NFL player can expect to be six games into a season.
For Lloyd, this is his first taste of the Patriots-Jets rivalry. He was asked if he knew much about the heated history between the teams.
“No, I don’t,’’ Lloyd said. “Do you want to enlighten me?’’
Told that it likely resembles any kind of rivalry game Lloyd has participated in — emotions high, fans at a fever pitch, plenty at stake for the two teams — he was able to put the game in the proper context.
“I think the best thing is just approach it like a normal game,’’ Lloyd said. “As a player, I think the build-up is more so for the fans and the history, but these are current teams, current rosters. We’re not playing against Joe Namath or anything like that.
“It’s a game. It’s an important game, but from our standpoint, we’re just going to prepare for it like it’s a regular game.’’
Lloyd is second on the team in catches (34) and yards (401) following his six-reception, 80-yard effort against the Seahawks. He has one touchdown.
Tom Brady said he did not watch any of Tuesday night’s presidential debate, but he had a good excuse. He was already asleep.
“I read about it this morning,’’ Brady said. “It’s a big week, so I was trying to get some sleep.’’
Brady, however, did say he felt tremors from the earthquake that was centered near Portland, Maine.
“I felt that,’’ he said. “What was it? About 7 o’clock?’’
Asked if he had any familiarity with such seismic events, given his Northern California upbringing, Brady replied, “Earthquakes? The big one in ’89, how could I forget that one?
“We don’t get them back here. It’s pretty rare.’’
So what was Brady doing at the time?
“I was in bed, trying to get some sleep so I could be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed,’’ he said.
Losing late leads at Baltimore and Seattle has cost the Patriots two wins, and those results have led to an avalanche of negativity regarding the team’s toughness and inability to close out victories. At least, there has been chatter outside the locker room regarding those ugly trends. But inside?
“I don’t think we’re sitting back worrying about the negative talk about our team,’’ said receiver Deion Branch. “We can only control what we can control. The media is going to say what they’re going to say, and we have to just worry about the Patriots.
“Trust me, we’re not worried about the mental toughness on this team, that’s one thing we’re not worried about. We’re fine, we’re fine. It’s all about just going out and taking care of business, executing our plays.’’
So the sky is not falling?
“It’s not in the locker room,’’ said Lloyd. “It’s easy for us to just continue to prepare how we’ve been preparing, execute how we’ve been executing, and eventually things will come together in all three phases for us.’’
Guard is up
One week after going up against the league’s top-rated defense, the Patriots get another highly-ranked opponent, at least against the pass. The Jets are fifth in the NFL, allowing just 209 passing yards per game. Quarterbacks are completing less than 55 percent of their attempts against the Jets.
“Blitz, pressure, they basically do everything you’ve seen before,’’ said tight end Rob Gronkowski, “and you’ve got to be ready for that, you got to be aware for all situations, because you never know what they’re going to bring. They’ve got great players: D-linemen, safeties, corners, everything, so you’ve got to be ready.’’
The Jets brought in Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry in the offseason, two physical safeties who have played well and made the season-ending injury to Darrelle Revis less glaring. They’ve combined for 92 tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble.
“They’re tough, physical players, good players, that’s why they’ve been in the league for a while,’’ Gronkowski said.
Playing each other twice a year — and for a third time in the playoffs following the 2006 and 2010 seasons — brings a certain level of familiarity to the Patriots and Jets. So much that the ability to surprise might be muted. “Nine-foot line splits? I don’t know. I think it really comes down to execution,’’ coach Bill Belichick said. “I’d be surprised if this game is won by a team that comes out running something that’s never been seen in the history of football before. I think this is going to be a game of execution: blocking, tackling, running, throwing, catching, defending, kicking game.’’ . . . Running back Brandon Bolden (knee) and linebacker Tracy White (foot) were the only Patriots to miss practice. Defensive tackle Kyle Love (knee) participated fully, but 11 of his teammates were limited: safeties Patrick Chung (shoulder) and Steve Gregory (hip), receivers Julian Edelman (hand) and Wes Welker (ankle), tight ends Gronkowski (hip) and Aaron Hernandez (ankle), linebacker Dont’a Hightower (hamstring), offensive linemen Logan Mankins (calf/hip), Nick McDonald (shoulder), and Sebastian Vollmer (back/knee), and cornerback Sterling Moore (knee). Bolden and Chung left the Seattle game with injuries, and neither returned . . . If it’s Patriots-Jets from Foxborough on CBS, it must be Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on the call.