Patriots mum on controversial Spikes tweet

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Patriots mum on controversial Spikes tweet

FOXBORO -- Brandon Spikes has long been one of the most active Patriots on Twitter, unafraid to share links, exchange messages with followers, or tell jokes. One crack on Wednesday night drew varied reactions on the social media site and became a topic of discussion in the Patriots locker room on Thursday.

Spikes wrote:

Im homophobic just like Im arachnophobic.I have nothing against homosexuals or spiders but Id still scream if I found one in my bathtub ! brandon spikes (@BrandonSpikes55) October 10, 2012

After receiving a mixed reaction from some of his followers, Spikes tried to make clear that the message was an attempt at a joke.

PEOPLE !!!! Its a joke seriously a JOKE !!! Chill out brandon spikes (@BrandonSpikes55) October 10, 2012

Spikes was not available to speak in the Patriots locker room on Thursday morning, but some of his teammates who were present were asked to respond.

"To be honest with you, all my focus is on the Seattle Seahawks," Jerod Mayo said. "I don't even have Twitter so I don't even pay attention to that stuff . . . That's something you'll have to ask him. I really have no comment on it."

Patriots receiver Wes Welker has a popular Twitter account, but he also would not respond to questions concerning Spikes' tweet.

"I haven't seen anything so I can't really comment on it," Wes Welker said. "I'm just concentrating on Seattle so I really don't have any comments at all on it."

Patriots get roster exemption for Ebner, add TE Pascoe and OL Halapio

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Patriots get roster exemption for Ebner, add TE Pascoe and OL Halapio

FOXBORO -- The Patriots, as expected, have been given a roster exemption for safety Nate Ebner. Therefore, while Ebner is playing for the USA Rugby Men's Sevens team in the Rio Olympics, his spot will not count against New England's 90-man roster. 

"I’ve talked to Nate several times," coach Bill Belichick said on Wednesday. "Wish him well in his endeavor. It’s a great opportunity for him to follow his passion, participate in the Olympic Games. We’re pulling for him to bring back something around his neck."

With the roster exemption, the Patriots found themselves at 88 players on their roster. In order to fill their last two openings, they signed offensive lineman Jon Halapio and tight end Bear Pascoe, Belichick announced. 

Halapio, a product of the University of Florida, was a sixth-round selection by the Patriots in 2014. He was released at the end of training camp that year, and he later landed on the Broncos practice squad in December of 2014. Before the start of last season, Halapio signed with the Cardinals. He was released on Sept. 5. 

In between NFL gigs, Halapio has spent time with the Boston Brawlers and the Brooklyn Bolts, both of the Fall Experimental Football League. 

Pascoe, 30, is in his eighth NFL season. He has spent time with the Giants, Falcons and Lions, primarily as a blocking tight end. In his career, the 6-foot-5, 257-pounder has caught 40 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns in 85 career games. 

Ebner will participate in the Olympic rugby competition with Team USA beginning on Aug. 6, and fellow Patriots special teams ace Mathew Slater will be paying attention.

"I’m just so happy for him," Slater said. "And I know why rugby means so much to him, and many of us are familiar with the situation with his father, and his father obviously introduced him to the game of [rugby]. So, that connection with father and son is bigger than sport itself.

"I know this means a great deal to him and we’re all excited for him. I’m just trying to figure out where I can get my Ebner rugby jersey. I’ll be supporting him and watching him along the way."