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.

Quick Slants Podcast: Antonio Brown’s betrayal; Matt Light; eyeing up Pittsburgh

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Quick Slants Podcast: Antonio Brown’s betrayal; Matt Light; eyeing up Pittsburgh

Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discuss the aftermath of Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live video. Curran interview Matt Light ahead of the AFC Championship. They dissect the press conferences of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and look at how to beat the Steelers.

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2:29 Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live aftermath

13:14 Stopping Le’Veon Bell

27:16 heywassyonumba? with Patrick Chung and Kyle Van Noy

32:30 Injury report updates for AFC Championship

36:51 Brady and Belichick’s press conferences

44:50 Matt Light interview

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick knows that how you play, not where, is what matters most. 

That's why when he was asked on Wednesday about the advantage the Patriots will have by playing at Gillette Stadium in the AFC title game, he wasn't willing to go all-in on how a comfortable environment will positively impact his team.

"I don’t know," he said. "Go ask Dallas and Kansas City."

The Patriots apparently thought enough of home-field advantage that they played their starters throughout their regular-season finale win in Miami, exposing their best players to potential injury in order to maintain their positive momentum while simultaneously ensuring a better road to the Super Bowl. 

The Patriots fans in attendance on Sunday will help when the Patriots take on the Steelers, Belichick acknowledged. But there's much more to it than that. 

"Yeah, of course," he said, "but the game is won by the players on the field. That’s who wins football games – the players. And they’ll decide it Sunday night."

And if you needed any further proof, just ask the Cowboys and Chiefs how helpful their home crowds were in the Divisional Round.