Ninkovich: Talib is 'a great player,' will be 'alright' with Patriots


Ninkovich: Talib is 'a great player,' will be 'alright' with Patriots

FOXBORO -- Newly-acquired cornerback Aqib Talib practiced with the Patriots for the first time on Wednesday. And he was present inside the locker room during media access, after practice, with his stall placed in between Ras-I Dowling and Devin McCourty.
But Talib won't speak until Thursday.
So instead, a few of his teammates had to answer for him as to how his first day on the field went.
"He's great so far, coming in," said Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich after Wednesday's practice. "We welcome him to just come in and help our defense out.
"It's just like any other guy on the defense. You come in, and obviously he's learning. He's hitting the ground running, so we're just here to help him out and help his transition.
"The great thing about him is, he's a great athlete," added Ninkovich. "Obviously, it's not the easiest thing to just jump into something new. But he's a great player. So I think he'll be alright."

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable


Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:


WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)


TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)