Wright gets back into the swing of things


Wright gets back into the swing of things

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard

FOXBORO Most of the talk during training camp and preseason has been about the Patriots defensive line tandem of Vince Wilfork and Albert Haynesworth, figuring that Haynesworth would eventually play a game at some point this season.

Well, Haynesworth played in his first game with New England on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium, however, it wasnt the only important addition to the Patriots defensive line this preseason.

Also joining the D-line on Thursday night was defensive end Mike Wright, who, like Haynesworth, plays an important role on the Patriots defensive line. Only, this wasnt Wrights first rodeo with the Pats. Wright enters his seventh season with New England, but hadnt played in a game since Week 10 of last season, thanks to a concussion.

"The guys that havent played a number of them got a chance to play today: Shaun Ellis, Josh Barrett, Shayne Vereen, Albert Haynesworth, Mike Wright," Bill Belichick said. "So, it was good. Those guys were able to get in there and play."

In his first game since Nov. 14, Wright made two solo tackles, just as many solo tackles as Haynesworth, in the Patriots 18-17 loss on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.

One of those two tackles Wright made saved the day for New Englands defense at the time.

With seven minutes left in the second quarter, and the Patriots holding a 17-3 lead, Wright single-handedly stuffed Giants quarterback David Carr at the 1-yard line, as Carr scrambled out of the pocket down the right sideline, headed for the front corner of the end zone.

Wrights stop on first down set the Patriots defense up for another chance to stop the Giants, and they did just that on the very next play, forcing Carr to fumble the football, which the Pats recovered.

"Practice is practice and its great preparation, but its a higher level in games," Belichick said. "I think it was good for them to get that."

Wright and Haynesworth combined for five total tackles on Thursday night, and if each can stay healthy, theyll both be complete forces on New Englands defensive line.

But make no mistake about it, Wrights presence is just as important, and the Patriots are glad to have him back.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Patriots bolster receiver depth by adding Brown to practice squad


Patriots bolster receiver depth by adding Brown to practice squad

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have added some receiver depth to their locker room by signing Da'Ron Brown to their practice squad. 

Brown, 25, was a seventh-round pick of the Chiefs in 2015 and spent his rookie season on the Kansas City practice squad. At Northern Illinois, the 6-foot, 199-pounder caught 155 passes in four years, accumulating 2,295 yards and scoring 19 touchdowns. He also rushed for two scores in his career. As a senior in 2014, he caught 68 passes for 1,065 yards. 

With the signing, the Patriots have filled out their practice squad. The team has had an opening on its 10-man unit since the Colts signed away receiver Devin Street for their 53-man roster.

With just four receivers on the Patriots roster, not including special teams ace Matthew Slater, they've loaded up on receiver depth through their practice squad with Brown, Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White.

Brissett, Garoppolo both practicing for Patriots on Tuesday


Brissett, Garoppolo both practicing for Patriots on Tuesday

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had both of their qurterbacks on the field and suited up for Tuesday's shells-and-sweats practice on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. 

Both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) are dealing with injuries, but both were present for the session, as were the rest of their teammates on the 53-man roster. 

Brissett was spotted in the Patriots locker room before practice with no brace or wrap of any kind on his thumb, but he did have his right thumb taped when out on the field. 

Patriots tight end AJ Derby was the lone player in a black practice jersey, indicating that he has been named practice player of the week. Running low on quarterbacks, Derby may have served as the scout-team quarterback as the Patriots defense prepared for the Texans. He played the position at Iowa and Arkansas before changing positions.

The Patriots have four practices scheduled this week, and the team will release injury reports, as usual, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.