Dowling ready to put hamstring woes aside

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Dowling ready to put hamstring woes aside

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
FOXBORO Ras-I Dowling is back on the practice field with the New England Patriots, trying his best to put a familiar injury behind him.

Dowling, the Patriots' second-round pick in this past spring's NFL draft, has been out for most of training camp because of a hamstring injury.

The 6-foot-1 rookie from Virginia addressed the media on Wednesday, but was mum on the injury.

When asked about his goals for the next couple of weeks, he said, "just getting better everyday; taking one day at a time."

Having already suffered a similar injury, Dowling doesn't really have much of a choice.

After a strong junior season in 2009 at the University of Virginia, an assortment of injuries -- among them, a right hamstring injury -- kept Dowling sidelined for all but five games as a senior.

In March, Dowling reportedly pulled out of a workout early due to what NFL.com described at the time as, a "strained right hamstring injury."

It is unclear if the hamstring that has been a problem in the past is the same hamstring that has limited his participation in practice with the Patriots thus far.

Fortunately for the Pats, Dowling is not a player that they came into the season counting on to make an impact other than as a contributor on special teams.

With a number of veteran cornerbacks in camp, Dowling has plenty of experienced players at his position to help him become better acclimated to the Patriots system.

When asked about what the veterans have told him thus far, Dowling replied, "I'm just trying to get better, day-by-day, to be out there."

He added, "just worry about myself; that's all I can worry about right now."

Spending time studying video or in the weight room are two of the more common ways for players to improve while being out with an injury.

When asked what he's doing most to prepare himself to be on the field, Dowling responded, "everything I can possibly do to get better; that's all I can do."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Ninkovich on Patricia's Goodell shirt: 'I don’t think it’s a big deal'

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Ninkovich on Patricia's Goodell shirt: 'I don’t think it’s a big deal'

Pro Football Talk reported last week that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is still frustrated that Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia wore a Barstool t-shirt that had shows him wearing a clown nose.

In an interview with the Boston Herald, linebacker Rob Ninkovich said he didn't think there was anything wrong with Patricia's t-shirt choice.

“Everyone has the right to wear whatever shirt they want,” Ninkovich said. "Everyone has to wear a shirt, right? You can’t just wear no shirt. I think someone threw it at (Patricia), and he said, ‘All right, nice shirt, it’s cool, it’s blue, so I’ll put it on.’ I thought it was a funny shirt.

“I don’t think it’s a big deal. . . People want to take it how they want to take it. If you really think about it, everyone has to wear clothes, so you just put a shirt on, and you know, it is what it is. I think it’s a nice shirt. It’s blue. I love blue. My favorite color is blue.”

The shirt may have interfered with Patricia's head coaching candidacy during the 2017 offseason, NFL Media's Jason La Canfora said on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Toucher And Rich" in February 

Patriots release OL Chase Farris with non-football injury designation

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Patriots release OL Chase Farris with non-football injury designation

The Patriots made a move on Thursday that opened up a roster spot exactly one week before the start of training camp practices. 

The team announced that it waived offensive lineman Chase Farris. It did so with a "non-football injury" designation. Farris spent most of last season on the Patriots practice squad after catching on with New England's 10-man unit in October. The former Ohio State product was a reserve option on the interior for Bill Belichick and Dante Scarnecchia. 

With Farris now out of the mix, the Patriots have 89 players on their roster and can add one more before camp begins.

Interior offensive linemen on the Patriots roster now include David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Joe Thuney, Ted Karras, Jamil Douglas and James Ferentz. A handful of rookies -- including undrafted rookies Cole Croston and Jason King -- could also see work inside.

Rookies will report to camp on July 24, and veterans will do the same by July 26. On July 27, training camp practice will be held for the first time on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. The Patriots will practice for four consecutive days at 9 a.m. to kick off camp. All practices will be free and open to the public.