Vinatieri booed: 'That's what they're supposed to do'

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Vinatieri booed: 'That's what they're supposed to do'

FOXBORO -- After the Colts scored their first touchdown in the first quarter of a 59-24 loss to the Patriots, Adam Vinatieri jogged on to the field and lined up the subsequent extra-point try.

A camera showed Vinatieri's face on the Gillette Stadium's big screen and boos rained down on the kicker.

That's right. The former Patriots kicker who won three Super Bowls in New England and made the game-winning kick in two, was booed by the fans who used to cheer him.

"They love to boo me," Vinatieri said with a smile. "It's good though. I get it, though. It's a fun gamesmanship type of thing. And then they say a lot of nice stuff as we're leaving, and the score's in their favor. I don't know if they'd be saying the same thing if the score was the other way around, but I respect that."

Vinatieri said that for the many fans who boo him, there are still plenty who praise him whenever he's within earshot.

"Same ones that were booing at the very end were saying 'Hey, still love you man!' " he said. "So it's all good."

Vinatieri handled the boos, and the questions about them, with class.

"I understand the deal," he said. "That's home-field advantage, that's what you're supposed to do. Get loud and get rowdy and try to make it hard on the other team. Put your blinders on and just keep going forward."

When Vinatieri returns to New England, there's another, more pleasant, interaction he looks forward to. He was seen exchanging pleasantries with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady before the game, the lone remaining player on the Patriots when Vinatieri left for Indianapolis as a free agent in 2006.

"I got a lot of love for guys like Brady and all my buddies that we played together for a bunch of years and accomplished a lot of neat things with the Patriots," Vinatieri said. "Whenever I get the opportunity to shake their hand and say 'How's the wife?' -- I hear they're pregnant again so that's awesome. I don't talk to him often enough so it's nice to catch up with him when I can."

Gronkowski returns to practice; Mason, Branch still missing

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Gronkowski returns to practice; Mason, Branch still missing

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had a welcome face back on the practice field on Wednesday, as tight end Rob Gronkowski returned to action after missing the team's previous five practices as he dealt with an injury. 

Gronkowski participated in the warmup period of practice and then remained with the majority of his teammates for drills. 

The last time Gronkowski was spotted on the field was last Monday, which was the first of three joint practices between the Patriots and the Bears. He pulled up after pursuing a Tom Brady pass, walked along the sideline, met with head trainer Jim Whalen, and then left practice early. He did not suit up for Thursday's game against Chicago. 

Gronkowski has not participated in a preseason game since 2012. 

Patriots not spotted at Wednesday's practice were Shaq Mason, Jonathan Cooper, Sebastian Vollmer (on the physically unable to perform list) and Dion Lewis (also on PUP). Alan Branch, who has been suspended by the team before last week's preseason game, was also missing. 

Jabaal Sheard, Rob Ninkovich, Malcolm Mitchell, Shea McClellin, Tre' Jackson (PUP) and Danny Amendola (PUP) were present for warmups but went to a lower field for conditioning. Amendola and Jackson were not in pads for the short-and-shells session. 

Jon Bon Jovi was taking in the session alongside Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. 

Wednesday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Ramirez gets night off

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Wednesday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Ramirez gets night off

Hanley Ramirez is getting a night off as the Red Sox look for their third straight win against the Rays tonight at Tropicana Field.

Travis Shaw will play first base, with Brock Holt at third.

Tonight's lineups:

RED SOX:
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
Brock Holt 3B
Travis Shaw 1B
Andrew Benintendi LF
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Rick Porcello P

RAYS:
Logan Forsythe 2B
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Brad Miller SH
Matt Duffy SS
Logan Morrison 1B
Steven Souza Jr. RF
Corey Dickerson LF
Bobby Wilson C
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Matt Andriese P