Curran: Injury turned Sanders into cap casualty

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Curran: Injury turned Sanders into cap casualty

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
Damned if you do. Damned if you don't. James Sanders ended up being a member of the former group on Monday. The safety was released by the Patriots after taking part in just four training camp practices. The reason he was idle so much? He injured his hamstring trying to stay in shape during the NFL lockout. "I wish I would have had a fair shot this camp. I came in hurt and obviously that weighed into it," Sanders told Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. "But stuff happens and you have to move on.While Sanders' 2.8 million salary in 2011 couldn't have helped his cause for staying, he had no chance to prove he was worth that dough because he wasn't able to go. Sanders joins Tully Banta-Cain and Ty Warren as 2011 cap casualties. The Patriots' safety depth has been winnowed even more with the release but -- as I pointed out in the past few weeks as media crows circled Brandon Meriweather -- the chance Meriweather would be axed seemed small. Despite a power outage at Gillette that forced the team from the facility, the Patriots got their roster down to 80 players well in advance of Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline. The other prominent player released Monday was Jonathan Wilhite. The fourth-year corner from Auburn mainly defended the slot receiver in the Patriots defense (the "star" position) but he actually did most of his best work outside. He was fairly effective in 2009 and had 13 starts in 39 games with the team, but he played in only nine games last year after hurting his hamstring and probably is best served with a change of scenery. The team also released tight end Garrett Mills, who they signed last week. The team originally drafted Mills in 2006 but he never played a down in New England. Rookie corner Malcolm Williams, a seventh-rounder out of TCU, was released. So was long-snapper Matt Katula, who was brought induring the 2010 season when 2010 draft pick Jake Ingram got the long-snapping yips. Katula had a bad snap in the Patriots' preseason opener on a field-goal attempt. Wide receivers Tyree Barnes and Darnell Jenkins (a big Quick Slants fan, I salute YOU, Darnell), defensive lineman Kade Weston, defensive end Clay Nurse, offensive lineman Mark Wetterer and kicker Chris Koepplin were shown politely to the door as well. The Patriots brought back safety Ross Ventrone - a lower-budget depth guy who can play special teams and fill in at the back of the defense. They also signed former Jags receiver Tiquan Underwood. Heplayed in 10 games and caught eight passes for 111 yards and returned 24 kicks for 561 yards last season. If he works out, Brandon Tate's time may be nigh.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots-Steelers practice report: Full participation for Pats

Patriots-Steelers practice report: Full participation for Pats

Wednesday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

DID NOT PRACTICE
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
TE Ladarius Green (concussion)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)

FULL PARTICIPATION
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

Tom Brady speaks German in video with Sebastian Vollmer

Tom Brady speaks German in video with Sebastian Vollmer

Though neither has rivaled Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live stream, Tom Brady is having a big day when it comes to teammates posting videos of him. 

First, former teammate Vince Wilfork shared an ad for Intel in which he designed a graphic of Tom Brady. Shortly after on Wednesday afternoon, Pats offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer posted a video for NFL Deutschland called “Sea Bass’ School of Football” featuring the Patriots quarterback (video below). 

In the video, Vollmer, who was born and raised in Germany, tries to teach Brady how to give the German call of Brady’s 10-yard run in second quarter of the Patriots’ divisional round win over the Chiefs last postseason. Brady, as people speaking a language they don’t know are wont to do, struggles to say the correct words. He says “lightsaber” a few times and Vollmer gives him guff. It's not the funniest thing in the world, but it's a hell of a lot lighter than Brady's press conference Wednesday. 

Brady isn’t the first Patriot to appear in one of Vollmer’s videos. Rob Gronkowski did the first one in November and Danny Amendola did one that was posted last month.