By Danny Picard
FOXBORO -- In what's beginning to become a trend, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady missed practice for the third straight week. He was nowhere to be found at the beginning of Tuesday's fully-padded session at Gillette Stadium, in preparation for Monday night's game against the New York Jets.
Also missing were cornerback Jonathan Wilhite, guard Stephen Neal, and defensive linemen Myron Pryor, Ron Brace, and Mike Wright.
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard
Friday's practice participation/injury report for Monday night's Patriots-Ravens game:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder)
DB Jordan Richards (knee)
LB Elandon Roberts (hamstring)
DB Eric Rowe (hamstring)
WR/SpT Matthew Slater (foot)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
TE Crockett Gilmore (thigh)
LB Terrell Suggs (not injury related)
RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (thigh)
C Jeremy Zuttah (not injury related)
G Alex Lewis (ankle)
G Marshal Yanda (shoulder)
FOXBORO -- It seems unlikely that a 23-year-old who has spent much of his life around sports would be unaware of how fantasy football works. But Malcolm Mitchell insisted on Friday that he was that 23-year-old.
Over the last seven days, Mitchell has been the second-most added player in ESPN.com fantasy leagues behind only Steelers tight end Ladarius Green. The rookie wideout went undrafted in many fantasy leagues before the start of the regular season, but his production has spiked over the last three weeks making him one of a hot commodity for people headed into the fantasy playoffs.
In wins over the Niners, Jets and Rams, Mitchell has caught 17 passes for 222 yards and three scores.
"I have family members mention it, but I never know what they're talking about," Mitchell said when asked if he was asked about his newfound popularity among fans of fantasy football. "I'm not sure how that works. If someone said it, I'd probably have no idea what it means."
A fewer lockers down from Mitchell is the stall of rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who cut into Mitchell's back-and-forth with reporters joking, "I've got him on my team!"
Mitchell's confusion over the phenomenon that is fantasy football seemed to be genuine as he asked questions about how teams operate and what fantasy free-agency means.
Those who've picked him up probably don't mind that Mitchell is in the dark on the subject -- and the same goes for the Patriots coaching staff, it's safe to assume -- as long as he continues to do his job as well as he's done it in recent weeks.