What can Stroud do for Patriots?


What can Stroud do for Patriots?

By Tom E. Curran

It's not official as of 1 p.m. Tuesday, but there is confirmed interest on the part of the Patriots in signing Marcus Stroud. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports it will bea two-year deal when it's all said and done. The 32-year-old Stroud was released by Buffalo last week after struggling in 2010 with a switch from 4-3 defensive tackle to 3-4 defensive end. "I know they want to get younger on the field and I have no problem with that,"Stroud told the Buffalo News after his release."When you play this game as long as I have, you know these kinds of things can happen. I'll just have to bounce back and keep on coming . . .
"I wanted to come back, but no hard feelings, no gripes," he added. "It's water under the bridge and now it's time for me to rehab, get my shoulder well and go to work and find another team to play for. If not, I can't complain because I had a great career. I played 10 years in this league and played some good ball. A lot of people can't say that."The 6-foot-6, 312-pounder made three Pro Bowls (2003-05) as he and John Henderson formed one of the league's best defensive-tackle tandems in Jacksonville. He was traded to the Bills in 2008 and started 45 of the 46 games he played. He's coming off a shoulder surgery. Buffalo made the move a) to get younger and b) because Stroud's contract had him making 4.5 million in 2011 - highest on the Bills roster. With Stroud coming in, it casts further intrigue into the future of the Warrens. Ty Warren is coming off hip surgery and is due to make over 3 million in salary this year. Gerard Warren is a free agent who played well for the Pats in a pinch in 2010. Meanwhile, it also makes you wonder about the health of Mike Wright who was laid low by a severe concussion last year and struggled to get back. We'll keep working to hear what the skinny is on the level Stroud can be expected to play at and contribute.

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

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable


Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

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


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)


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

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)