Tom E. Curran made his predictions coming into Sunday's game and he checks back in after the game to see what he got right . . . and what he didn't. It's his Preview Review.
FOXBORO -- Patriots special-teams units saw their captain return to practice on Thursday afternoon.
Matthew Slater was back on the field behind Gillette Stadium after missing the start of Wednesday's on-the-field work. He's been dealing with a foot injury he suffered in Week 11 against the 49ers and did not play against either the Jets or Rams. Slater practiced twice last week but was held out of last Friday's work.
Martellus Bennett, who is dealing with ankle and shoulder issues that he's admitted are plaguing him, was back at practice as well. Absent from the media availability portion of the session were receiver Danny Amendola (ankle) and safety Jordan Richards (knee).
One added note based on an observation from Wednesday's practice that running back DJ Foster spent some time with receivers: That's not necessarily anything new to him, he said Thursday. He has spent time keeping his receiving skills sharp all season, and that has included spending time with the receiver group occasionally. Foster does, however, understand the team's situation at wideout -- the team has three healthy players at that position at the moment -- and he realizes he has to be ready for whatever role is asked of him. The Patriots have not added an additional roster to the 53-man roster this week, making Foster a candidate to help fill in.
FOXBORO -- Martellus Bennett is willing to admit it.
"Last week was probably my worst game as a Patriot," he told reporters in the locker room on Thursday. "But, you know, you have a bad game here and there. This week, come back grinding, and get ready."
Never was it more clear than on Sunday that Bennett has been hobbled by the injuries he's dealing with. He's coped with an ankle injury since Week 5 in Cleveland that has earned him the respect of his teammates and coaches, but against the Rams it appeared to severely impact his performance.
He saw four targets and caught two for four yards. As a blocker -- the facet of his game that stood out more than his receiving ability early this season -- he was called for two holds and had difficulty keeping his assignments in check, both in the run game and in pass protection.
Asked if he may benefit from a week off, Bennett said he planned to continue to play.
"I never thought about that. I just keep going," he said. "I'm like the energizer bunny. I just try to find a way. Sometimes it's [expletive] when you're out there playing with different injuries. You can't do a lot of things that you want to do. You have [expletive] plays. You might have a string of bad plays in a row just because youre dealing with different things . . .
"But throughout the game you kind of find a way to get the job done. I think that's the biggest point. It may not be pretty all the time, but try to figure some kind of way to get it done. Sometimes it's adjusting as the game goes on."
He added: "The thing about this sport is it's always something. You never go throuigh a season without having some kind of nick or tear, but there's a lot of guys playing with different things. But some guys are able to play through different injuries, and [with] some of the same injuries, you see guys around the league . . . go on IR and things like that. But it just depends on the person and their pain tolerance."
Bennett was back at practice Thursday after he wasn't spotted there on Wednesday. He may be helped by the long week leading up to Monday's game against the Ravens. It could mean an extra day of rest and recovery.
Sometimes, he said, it's difficult not to be out there.
"Sometimes. Sometimes it's like, thank God. I needed that today," he said. "It varies each week. . . I'll fight through whatever and I think that's something that my teammates and coaches know about me that I'm going to try to give them everything I got no matter what."