Carter's future with Patriots murky


Carter's future with Patriots murky

It's been a little more than four months since Andre Carter tore his quadriceps against the Broncos.

But his future with the Patriots is no clearer now than when he hit the deck in pain in Denver.

"Your guess is as good as mine," Carter said Tuesday when asked if he knew the Patriots plans for him. "They kind of just said, 'Thanks for everything,' at the end of the year and I haven't heard from them since. But I'm optimistic everything works out."

Carter came to the Patriots on a one-year deal in 2011 and rolled up 10 sacks for the pass-rush desperate Patriots. He was also a beacon of professionalism in their locker room.

It's not unusual for the Patriots to move away from the free agent market in the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft then revisit prospects later in the offseason.

Carter hopes that's their plan when it comes to him.

"I could not have enjoyed that season any more than I did," said Carter, who'll be 33 on May 12. "I was working with guys who just love the game of football, the Patriots organization does things the right way, the city was awesome - people wanted to know the players whether they were stars or not. It was such an amazing experience I'd love to experience it again."

Carter says he's spending two-and-a-half to three hours six days a week rehabbing what he described as a "unique injury."

Asked if he'll watch the draft with an eye toward the Patriots plucking a replacement, Carter said, "I won't watch because of my position being in jeopardy or anything, I just want to see who they get and see a guy's dream come true. I just think, 'Good luck, youngster.' When you've been in the game as long as I have, you know what a blessing it is to get drafted."

Asked if he felt he had "unfinished business" (to borrow a term from Chad Ochocinco's agent), Carter said, "It is a goal to win it all and I understand the journey starts in the offseason. Hopefully I get a chance to try again."

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)