Ellis returns to practice, eager for more reps

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Ellis returns to practice, eager for more reps

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
FOXBORO When you look at the New England Patriots defensive line, the talent is undeniable. But can the players making up the D-line stay healthy enough for us to find out how good it can be?

Shaun Ellis, among the banged-up Patriots this preseason, returned to practice on Monday after nursing a hip injury. And Ellis, a two-time Pro Bowler, understands both the benefit and the burden that comes with being part of a defensive front with such proven depth.

"Definitely a plus," Ellis said. "We have a lot of guys who are playmakers."

You can count Ellis among them, although injuries and the need to evaluate the team's unproven talent has limited his reps thus far.

With the third preseason game on Saturday at Detroit, Ellis is hopeful that he'll see some action.

"It's very important," Ellis said when asked about preseason reps. "With the offseason, lockout, the preseason is very important for us."

It's especially valuable for a player like Ellis, who finds himself suiting up for a team other than the Jets for the first time ever.

Camp thus far has been about "refining things" for Ellis.

He said, "I've played in a lot of systems over the years. For me, it's just going out there, being ready."

Ellis' biggest hurdle thus far has been his health, which he says is now as good as it's been since he signed with New England earlier this month.

And now it's all about doing what he wasn't able to do with the Jets -- contribute to a Super Bowl-winning team.

"It's all about winning," Ellis said. "I've been on the other side of this thing for a while. I had a couple chances at it; didn't come through. Still pushing, trying to get to the ultimate goal."

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

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
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

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)

Brady on Trump shout-out before inauguration: 'Let's talk about football'

Brady on Trump shout-out before inauguration: 'Let's talk about football'

FOXBORO -- It seems as though Tom Brady might wish Donald Trump would stop telling everyone that they're such good pals.

On Thursday night, the soon-to-be 45th president of the United States said that Brady was "feeling good" and that Brady called him to congratulate him on the eve of his inaguration. On Friday afternoon, Brady looked uncomfortable at the mention of Trump's name during a press conference at Gillette Stadium. 

When Brady was asked about Trump soon after the inauguration ceremony on Friday, he hesitated.

"I don't have much to say," said Brady.

Brady was then reminded that during a dinner for donors in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Trump mentioned a recent phone call between them, when Brady expressed his support for the new president. 

"Umm," Brady said. "Did I call him . . ."

"He said you did," a reporter replied. 

"Oh," Brady said. "Let's talk about football."

In other words, as his coach would say, "We've got a big game."