Spikes OK after practice fracas

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Spikes OK after practice fracas

FOXBORO - And that's why you don't roughhouse.

Brandon Spikes and Nate Solder got into a jam during Wednesday night's practice on the turf of Gillette Stadium. By the time the thing was over, the offense and defense were scrumming together in a movable jumble of humanity and the oft-injured Spikes was on the ground looking at his knee.

Spikes left after the dustup, which started after Solder blocked Spikes to the ground and stood over him. Spikes returned to the practice but his participation was limited. Spikes is expected to be fine, according to a source.

Spikes, who had offseason knee surgery, is normally an aggressor (see his Captain Insano act back in 2009). Solder is fairly mild-mannered. Whether there were contributing factors in plays before the fracas isn't known.

The entire offense and defense got into the mix however. It didn't appear any punches were thrown.

Cornerback Kyle Arrington said he wasn't sure exactly what happened.

"I had my own one-on-one battle, me and Wes (Welker) were by ourselves out there," he explained. "It's just one of those things when you're going against somebody every day. It's that time of year. It happens.

Rookie Chandler Jones was asked if he was involved in the issue,

"I'm not Jon 'Bones' Jones," he answered, referring to his brother, the MMA champion. "My name is Chandler."

Solder took a penalty lap after the dust cleared.

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

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Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."