Haynesworth (back) returns to Patriots practice

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Haynesworth (back) returns to Patriots practice

By Phil Perry
CSNNE.com

When Albert Haynesworth missed Sunday's game against the Bills with a back injury, he did a lot for those who disagreed with the Patriots' move to sign the oft out-of-shape defensive lineman this offseason.

Haynesworth did something to silence critics for now by returning to practice Wednesday.

Earlier in the day the Patriots announced the signing of Gerard Warren, a move that bolstered their defensive line before taking on running back Darren McFadden and the Raiders this week. The Warren signing would be especially helpful if Haynesworth's back acts up again and he misses more time.

Not at the media portion of practice on Wednesday were Logan Mankins (illness), tight end Aaron Hernandez (knee), tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back), and defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion).

Safety Patrick Chung (thumb) and cornerback Ras-I Dowling (hip), both of whom missed the Bills game, were limited participants Wednesday.

Other limited participants were Kyle Arrington (chest), Leigh Bodden (groin), Shaun Ellis (knee), Gary Guyton (hamstring), Jerod Mayo (thigh), Zoltan Mesko (knee), Taylor Price (hamstring), Ryan Wendell (calf). Josh Barrett (thumb) and Dane Fletcher (thumb) were both full participants.

For the Raiders, McFadden (groin, shoulder) practiced fully. Quarterback Jason Campbell (foot) and wide receiver Jacoby Ford (hamstring) were limited participants. Wide receiver Louis Murphy (groin), linebacker Ricky Brown (concussion), cornerback Chris Johnson (hamstring), running back Marcel Reece (ankle) and defensive end Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder) did not practice.

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

FOXBORO -- The highly-anticipated first Patriots injury report of the week was released on Wednesday afternoon, and it was fairly predictable. 

Both injured quarterbacks were active but limited in their practice participation, the report indicated. That comes as little surprise as both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) were spotted throwing passes early in Wednesday's practice. Neither appeared to be experiencing any significant discomfort as they made their warm-up throws. 

Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) were also limited. Gronkowski admitted that the team was taking it slow with him in his first game back on the field last week -- he played just 14 snaps in New England's win over Houston -- but he said on Wednesday that he hoped to go "freakin' crazy" on the field soon.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)

BUFFALO BILLS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
TE Charles Clay (knee)
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

FOXBORO -- Jimmy Garoppolo spoke Wednesday for the first time since getting his shoulder separated by the Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso. Standing by his locker, Garoppolo was predictably vague about the status of his arm, unless you consider, “Getting better day by day,” as being insightful. 

The only two responses offered that were worth a damn came when asked if he could have done anything different when he got squished by Alonso while retreating and buying time.  

“Just have to be smart I guess,” said Garoppolo. “I mean, it’s football and stuff’s gonna happen like that, but have to be smart in those situations.”

Asked if he regretted holding the ball as long as he did on a third-down play with the Patriots up 21-0, Garoppolo replied, “After it’s all said and done it’s easy to say that, but it’s one of those things, you’re in the heat of the game. But bottom line I have to be smarter than that.”

Agreed.  

Meanwhile, as he worked last week to get back for Thursday night’s game against Houston, The Boston Herald reported that the Patriots were “putting pressure” on Garoppolo to be ready for the game. Working hard to get key players ready for upcoming games is standard operating procedure for a medical staff. Trying to force a player to perform is not. 

I asked Garoppolo if he felt unduly pressured. He replied, “No.”