FOXBORO -- Dan Koppen, who broke his left ankle in the Patriots' season opener in Miami, spent time Wednesday with media. Koppen was placed on season-ending injured reserve back on September 21. Even though he had a very good chance of being healed before the end of the regular season, the need to open up a roster spot made the move necessary. "It was a decision made but it's a business and things gotta get done," he explained. "You can't hold spots all year."Koppen didn't sound too charged up about the fact he landed on IR, but he seems to have accepted the decision. "Obviously you want to come back and play and injuries are part of the game," he said. "It's a business and things gotta be done and don't work out the way you want to all the time."Koppen was wearing a bulky boot on his left foot. He said he just got off crutches. "It's tough," he admitted. "You want to be out there, you want to be playing, but like I said before, injuries happen and next man up's gotta be ready to go. But as far as watching, it's just tough. But you get used to it."Koppen turned 32 in September. The five-year extension he signed in 2006 expires after this year. Asked what he sees coming down the road, Koppen said, "I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I'm enjoying where I'm at right now, rooting these guys on and hoping we have a great season. We'll deal with that later."Koppen, who's been capably replaced by Dan Connolly, said he wants to remain with the Patriots."This is a minor bump in the road. We'll be back and hopefully I'll be here," he said.
FOXBORO -- The highly-anticipated first Patriots injury report of the week was released on Wednesday afternoon, and it was fairly predictable.
Both injured quarterbacks were active but limited in their practice participation, the report indicated. That comes as little surprise as both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) were spotted throwing passes early in Wednesday's practice. Neither appeared to be experiencing any significant discomfort as they made their warm-up throws.
Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) were also limited. Gronkowski admitted that the team was taking it slow with him in his first game back on the field last week -- he played just 14 snaps in New England's win over Houston -- but he said on Wednesday that he hoped to go "freakin' crazy" on the field soon.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
TE Charles Clay (knee)
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)
FOXBORO -- Jimmy Garoppolo spoke Wednesday for the first time since getting his shoulder separated by the Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso. Standing by his locker, Garoppolo was predictably vague about the status of his arm, unless you consider, “Getting better day by day,” as being insightful.
The only two responses offered that were worth a damn came when asked if he could have done anything different when he got squished by Alonso while retreating and buying time.
“Just have to be smart I guess,” said Garoppolo. “I mean, it’s football and stuff’s gonna happen like that, but have to be smart in those situations.”
Asked if he regretted holding the ball as long as he did on a third-down play with the Patriots up 21-0, Garoppolo replied, “After it’s all said and done it’s easy to say that, but it’s one of those things, you’re in the heat of the game. But bottom line I have to be smarter than that.”
Meanwhile, as he worked last week to get back for Thursday night’s game against Houston, The Boston Herald reported that the Patriots were “putting pressure” on Garoppolo to be ready for the game. Working hard to get key players ready for upcoming games is standard operating procedure for a medical staff. Trying to force a player to perform is not.
I asked Garoppolo if he felt unduly pressured. He replied, “No.”