Pryor and Koppen placed on injured reserve


Pryor and Koppen placed on injured reserve

By Tom E. Curran Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO -- The season has ended for a couple of the Patriots' trench guys.
Defensive tackle Myron Pryor and center Dan Koppen have both been placed on injured reserve, the team announced Wednesday. Pryor had an injured groin going into the Chargers game last weekend then appeared to aggravate it before halftime and did not return. However, the Patriots list Pryor as having a shoulder injury.
The third-year player was really playing well in the Patriots' defensive line rotation throughout camp and into the first game of the regular season. His ability to bring inside pressure on third downs will be missed, especially since Mike Wright has been down with a concussion. Those two are the team's best young interior rushers. The Patriots re-signed defensive tackle Landon Cohen who they released just before the season to try and mitigate the loss of the interior pass rushers. As for Koppen, we reported that the injury he suffered against Miami was an 8-to-10 week convalesence. The Patriots have decided they couldn't wait, it seems. Especially not with the rampant thumb injuries on their defense. So they cleared a roster spot by IR'ing Koppen and have signed former 49ers defensive back Phillip Adams. He was a seventh-round pick in 2010 out of South Carolina. With both Josh Barrett and Patrick Chung -- the team's starting safeties -- playing with casts on their right arms, Adams has likely been brought in to help lift the special teams load for those players. Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

President-elect Donald Trump made sure to thank a few of his supporters from New England -- particularly those at 1 Patriot Place -- during a speech on the eve of his inauguration to the nation's highest office. 

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady all earned shout-outs from Trump. Kraft was one of many Trump donors present for a dinner at Washington, DC's Union Station, where he was singled out by the soon-to-be-president. 

"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob.

"Your friend Tom Brady just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good. Good luck. You're going to do great."

Trump gave one extra nod to Belichick, who he says taught him to out-work his competition. 

"I out-worked everybody," Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.

Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign. 

Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown. 

The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player. 

Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.

Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.