September, 26, 2014

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — A few takeaways from the New England Patriots‘ locker room on Friday:

No signs of Dan Connolly. With all the chatter about potential changes on the offensive line, one thought came to mind after the third straight day of not seeing starting center Dan Connolly during the media-access period in the locker room: The Patriots might be forced into changes based on Connolly’s health. Connolly has been limited in practice the past three days with a foot injury, which is a new ailment for him after showing up on last week’s report with a knee injury (he was probable). This could make veteran center Ryan Wendell‘s return to health all the more important, as he’s no longer on the injury report after missing the past two games because he hurt his knee in the opener.

Players unaware of Joe McKnight‘s injury. News that Chiefs running back Joe McKnight tore his Achilles in practice on Thursday broke right around the time reporters were in the Patriots locker room. When it was relayed to one New England player, it was met with surprise. The player said the Patriots have spent plenty of time watching McKnight this week and viewed him as an explosive weapon they were concerned about after his two-touchdown performance (both receiving) against the Dolphins.

Dominique Easley bonding with Vince Wilfork. The rookie defensive tackle spent about 30 minutes chatting with the captain in front of his locker, soaking up advice. It’s a good snapshot of some of the mentoring that happens in New England.

Welcome back, Ben Bass. The Patriots had third-year defensive tackle Ben Bass back in the fold and participating in Friday’s practice. Bass was wearing No. 93, but because the club had not announced …read more