Belichick, staff preparing for roster cuts

829523.jpg

Belichick, staff preparing for roster cuts

While the Patriots manage playing three preseason games in 10 days, a major change to the big-picture landscape is looming.

Roster cuts.

New England's 90-man squad must be shaved down to 75 by 4:00 PM Monday. The compressed and hectic schedule colored Bill Belichick's opening remarks on his Saturday afternoon conference call.

"We had a quick turnaround last night so were just trying to work through the film here and get organized this week; get ready for the Giants, evaluate our players, get ready for the 75 cut, all that. We have a lot of balls in the air, a lot of work to do here the next couple days.

Might personnel moves be made in the waning hours of the weekend?

"I really don't know," Belichick said flatly. "We just got in about 4:30 this morning, watched the film here. We have a lot of things to do in a very short period of time. What exactly time frame will be and how it will all play out I don't know.

"That's something after we're done with this call, one of the many things we'll talk about in our staff and scouting meetings and so forth over the next couple days. We'll see how it all comes together. When we know what we're doing, we'll do it. We know what the deadlines are, if it happens before that it does; if it doesn't then we'll do it by the deadline."

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

new-england-patriots-helmets-121215_0.jpg

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:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
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)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

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

NOT LISTED
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)