Woodhead, Jones present at Wednesday practice

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Woodhead, Jones present at Wednesday practice

FOXBORO -- It was well-known that tight end Rob Gronkowski, who last weekend sustained his second arm fracture of the season and is out for the remainder of the playoffs, would miss Wednesday's practice. Alfonzo Dennard's absence is not as easily explained, however. 
The Patriots cornerback was on previous injury reports with hamstring and knee issues. He was inactive for New England's final two games of the regular season, but did play nearly every snap in last Sunday's Divisional Playoff game. 
Wednesday's participation report will clarify whether Dennard suffered a setback with previous injuries or if he is dealing with a new health issue. 
Otherwise, the Patriots had full attendance at the mid-week workout. The pair of players injured against Houston, running back Danny Woodhead (thumb) and defensive end Chandler Jones (ankle), were present and accounted for. 
Head coach Bill Belichick said yesterday that both players will be put through the paces this week. 
"We'll take a look at them Tuesday, take a look at them Wednesday and make a decision as to whether or not we think they can practice," he said. "If we do, we'll put them out there, let them go through the early part of practice -- the warmup stages, some individual work -- see how that progresses and make a decision as to whether or not to put them in the group and team drills that come later on in practice. 
"We do the same thing with every player in different categories. If they're not ready, they don't practice or they practice on a limited basis. If they're able to continue with what all the things all the other players are doing."

Drellich: MLB could explain umpire rulings more often

Drellich: MLB could explain umpire rulings more often

BOSTON — We know that Red Sox manager John Farrell did something wrong. In the absence of any sort of formal announcement otherwise, we’re left to assume the umpires did everything properly — but there’s room for MLB to make that clearer.

If the NBA can put out Last 2 Minute reports, why can’t MLB provide more regular explanations or reviews of contested calls?

Farrell on Tuesday said he’d like to see more public accountability in the umpiring realm, hours before the manager was to sit out Game No. 77. Farrell was suspended one game for making contact with crew chief Bill Miller on Saturday night as manager and umpire rained spittle on each other over a balk call that went against the Sox.

Well, was it a balk or not? Did Miller do anything wrong as well?

“I don’t know if there was anything levied on the other side,” Farrell said. “I don’t know that.”

But would he like such matters to always be public?

“I think there have been strides made in that way,” Farrell said. “I guess I would. I think everyone in uniform would prefer that to be made public. Whether or not that happens, I don’t know, but that would be a choice I would make.”

The league has a thorough internal review system. But it is just that: internal. Most of the time, any way.

On most every night at Fenway Park, there is someone on hand watching just the umpires and reviewing them.

MLB, to its credit, has announced suspensions for umpires in the past. The league has made public acknowledgments when calls have been made incorrectly. More of that seems viable — even if it’s an announcement to reaffirm that the call was made and handled properly, and here are the reasons why.

“I haven’t received any further determination or review of what transpired,” Farrell said. “My position, my stance, remains steadfast. I still firmly believe that time was called [before the balk call was made]. I wasn’t arguing the balk. I was arguing the timing of it. As I reiterated today to those that I spoke with, I still stand by my side of the argument. Unfortunately, there was contact made.”