Patriots free up a pair of roster spots, release Fletcher, Davis

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Patriots free up a pair of roster spots, release Fletcher, Davis

FOXBORO - Dane Fletcher, who tore his ACL covering a punt in Thursday's preseason game against the Saints, has been released by the Patriots. So too has wide receiver Britt Davis, who injured his shoulder against the Saints. League sources confirmed both moves which were initially reported by Boston.com and ESPNBoston.com. Davis reached an injury settlement with the team, according to ESPNBoston. The moves open up two roster spots for the team as it prepares for its second preseason game next Monday against the Eagles. Roster additions could be in the offing. The Patriots have been thin along the offensive line with veterans Brian Waters (excused absence), Sebastian Vollmer (back) and Logan Mankins (available to return to full pads on Tuesday) sidelined. With that in mind, they worked out former Packers tackle Chad Clifton this week. Both Fletcher and Davis will have to pass through waivers in order for the Patriots to re-sign them. Given Fletcher's contributions to the team over the past two years, it's likely they're hoping he makes it through without anyone putting in dibs on him. That's no certainty, though. The Patriots showed that earlier this offseason when the Giants released tight end Jake Ballard after microfracture surgery. It was the Giants' intention to re-sign Ballard and put him on injured reserve once he cleared waivers, but the Patriots put a claim in on him.

Thursday's Patriots-Bills practice report: Garoppolo, Brissett practice again

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Thursday's Patriots-Bills practice report: Garoppolo, Brissett practice again

FOXBORO -- The Patriots held a walkthrough on the field behind Gillette Stadium one day after both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) tested their arms during the team's practice in full pads n Wednesday.

Both quarterbacks were back on the field, but for the second consecutive day they were limited, according to the injury report. That injury report was, in fact, unchanged from Wednesday's, meaning tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) and linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) were also limited. 

There was one significant alteration to the Bills practice report, however, as tight end Charles Clay (knee) was back on the field Thursday. Receiver Sammy Watkins (foot) remained out. 

Patriots coach Bill Belichick described Watkins' explosive abilities in Buffalo's passing game earlier this week. 

"Watkins is big, he is good after the catch, he’s obviously good on the deep balls," Belichick said. "But he is good on catch-and-run plays. He can take those intermediate routes or crossing routes and turn a 10, 15-yard catch into 40. So, a hard guy to tackle, big, fast, very athletic."

If he can't go, the Bills will have to find other ways to try to manufacture yardage. 

Here's Thursday's practice participation report for the Patriots and Bills.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)

BUFFALO BILLS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)