The Patriots were without five players at Friday's practice, including Albert Haynesworth, who was a limited participant on Wednesday. He is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders.
Tight end Aaron Hernandez (knee), tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back), defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion), cornerback Ras-I Dowling (hip) and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (back) were all out. Hernandez, Vollmer and Wright will not play on Sunday; Dowling and Haynesworth are listed as questionable.
The limited participants were cornerback Kyle Arrington (concussion), cornerback Leigh Bodden (groin), safety Patrick Chung (hand), defensive lineman Shaun Ellis (knee), linebacker Gary Guyton (hamstring), receiver Taylor Price (hamstring) and offensive lineman Ryan Wendell (calf). All are questionable for Sunday's game.
Safety Josh Barrett (thumb) and linebacker Dane Fletcher (thumb) were full participants and are listed as probable.
Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discuss the aftermath of Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live video. Curran interview Matt Light ahead of the AFC Championship. They dissect the press conferences of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and look at how to beat the Steelers.
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2:29 Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live aftermath
13:14 Stopping Le’Veon Bell
27:16 heywassyonumba? with Patrick Chung and Kyle Van Noy
32:30 Injury report updates for AFC Championship
36:51 Brady and Belichick’s press conferences
44:50 Matt Light interview
FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick knows that how you play, not where, is what matters most.
That's why when he was asked on Wednesday about the advantage the Patriots will have by playing at Gillette Stadium in the AFC title game, he wasn't willing to go all-in on how a comfortable environment will positively impact his team.
"I don’t know," he said. "Go ask Dallas and Kansas City."
The Patriots apparently thought enough of home-field advantage that they played their starters throughout their regular-season finale win in Miami, exposing their best players to potential injury in order to maintain their positive momentum while simultaneously ensuring a better road to the Super Bowl.
The Patriots fans in attendance on Sunday will help when the Patriots take on the Steelers, Belichick acknowledged. But there's much more to it than that.
"Yeah, of course," he said, "but the game is won by the players on the field. That’s who wins football games – the players. And they’ll decide it Sunday night."
And if you needed any further proof, just ask the Cowboys and Chiefs how helpful their home crowds were in the Divisional Round.