Scott ready to play in wake of Cunningham's suspension


Scott ready to play in wake of Cunningham's suspension

FOXBORO -- Jermaine Cunningham's four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances came down early Monday afternoon.

Some two hours later, the Patriots locker room opened to reporters.

"We have it set up so that as soon as somebody goes down, it's the next man in," fellow defensive end Trevor Scott explained. "You're expected to perform just as well as anybody else. That's why we work hard all week, to stay physically and mentally prepared."

Taking Scott's temperature is important this week; he's the one on deck.

"I don't even know what's going to happen as far as depth chart or whatever, but I'll definitely be preparing to get a more active role this week.

"If it does increase I feel like I'll be ready for it," he said matter-of-factly. "I can't control what goes on, but I can control what I do on Sundays. I'll go through and I'll be preparing hard this week."

Scott served mostly as a special teamer in the first half of the season, playing just over 10-percent of the team's defensive snaps. Recently, that's changed.

Starting 'D'-end Chandler Jones injured an ankle in New England's Week 11 win over the Colts. That's when Scott stepped in. The fifth-year veteran has played 51 snaps in the last two games, including 32 against Indianapolis.

Jones was seen Monday in the locker room with neither a walking boot nor a limp. Even if he returns this weekend in Miami, Scott's bump in playing time should maintain, if not increase, over the next four games.

And being ready is all he cares about.

Does that mean an uptick in preparation? No. Considering the Next-Man-In philosophy, Scott is already there.

"It doesn't change," he said of the workload. "I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing all week and see what happens."

Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch


Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch

BOSTON -- It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Saturday night represented a step in a positive direction for Ryan Spooner.

The 24-year-old speedy forward was scratched for the home opener against New Jersey in classic message-sending fashion by Bruins coach Claude Julien, and deserved it based on a passive lack of production combined with some costly mistakes as well. So he stayed quiet, put in the work and then returned to the lineup Saturday vs. the Montreal Canadiens where he scored a power play goal in the 4-2 loss to the Habs at TD Garden.

“He was better,” agreed Claude Julien. “He was better tonight.”

Spooner could have had even more as he got a couple of great scoring chances in the first period vs. Montreal, but Carey Price was able to turn away a couple of free looks at the Montreal net. So the Bruins forward felt he possibly left points on the ice after it was all said and done, but also clearly played his best game of the young season after going from the press box back to the lineup.

“Yeah, I had like maybe four or five [chances] that I could have scored on,” said Spooner. “I’ve just got to bear down on those [scoring opportunities], and a lot [of them] in the first period. It’s good that I’m getting those looks, but I have to score on them.

“I’m just going to go out there and just try to play. I can’t really think about [fighting to hold a spot]. I’ve just got to go out there and try to play, I guess, the game I can and try to use the speed that I have.”

The Spooner power play strike was a nifty one with the shifty forward and David Backes connecting on a pass across the front of the net, and the young B’s forward showing the necessary assertiveness cutting to the net from his half-wall position.

Spooner had five shot attempts overall in the game, and was one of the few Bruins players really getting the chances they wanted against a pretty effective Montreal defensive group. Now it’s a matter of Spooner, along with linemates Backes and David Krejci, scoring during 5-on-5 play and giving the Bruins a little more offensive balance after riding Boston’s top line very hard during the regular season’s first couple of weeks. 

AFC: Vinatieri sets NFL record for consecutive field goals in Colts' win


AFC: Vinatieri sets NFL record for consecutive field goals in Colts' win

Ex-Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri hits his 43rd consecutive field goal, setting an NFL record, in the Colts' 34-26 victory over the Titans.

Click here for the game story.