Description: The Patriots have every intention of re-signing Julian Edelman when free agency begins later this week. SOURCE: Mike Giardi, Comcast Sportsnet New England
Insight: Edelman was the Pats best receiver last season and could be again next season depending on the health of Rob Gronkowski. It would be surprising if Edelman left, though the Pats did low-ball Wes Welker in free agency last offseason. New England would also like to keep Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib. It will be interesting to see if the Pats can afford both of them.
Description: John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says the Texans will not be making a trade for Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett.
Insight: A few days ago, it sounded like Houston was considering taking South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 pick and then acquiring a quarterback via trade. Now, it sounds like they'll stick to the script and take a QB with the first pick. Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles are all in play at No. 1.
Description: The Patriots have released veteran strong safety Steve Gregory. SOURCE: Albert Breer, NFL Network
Insight: Gregory is actually coming off a decent season (fourth on the team in tackles) but the move frees up almost $3 million in cap room. The 31-year-old Syracuse product shouldn't have trouble finding a new team.
Description: Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald doesn't think Brandon Spikes will be back with the Patriots in 2014.
Insight: Spikes was put on injured reserve late in the season after showing up late to a practice. Usually when you find yourself in Bill Belichick's doghouse, it's pretty hard to get out. Even if Spikes hadn't fallen out of Belichick's good graces, his new contract probably wouldn't have been in New England's price range. At age 26, the former University of Florida linebacker still has plenty of good football left to be played.
Description: New England won't use its franchise tag on impending free agent Aqib Talib according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
Insight: Howe says the Patriots are prepared to offer Talib three years and $21 million, which is pretty fair given that Talib's 2013 salary was only $4.86 million. Talib, a second-team All-Pro selection, missed most of New England's AFC Championship loss to Denver after taking a hit from former Patriot Wes Welker in the first half.
Description: ESPN's Ben Goessling wouldn't be surprised if the Vikings at least "kicked the tires" on Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett.
Insight: Mallett has only completed one pass in his NFL career but that's because he's had a Hall of Famer playing in front of him in Tom Brady. Minnesota's QB situation is dicey at best with Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder under center and Mallett might be able to provide the Vikings with some much-needed stability. Mallett will be a free agent after next season so the Patriots would be wise to trade him sooner rather than later.
Description: ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss expects the Texans to make a run at impending free agent wide receiver Julian Edelman.
Insight: Edelman raised his free agent stock by having a career year in 2013 (105 receptions, 1,056 yards, six TDs). The notoriously stingy Patriots aren't likely to keep up with Edelman's increasing contract demands so Houston might be the best fit for him. Edelman's presence would be good news for the likely No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M.
Description: According to Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Aqib Talib's knee injury isn't serious. SOURCE: ESPN Boston
Insight: Talib, who missed the vast majority of last week's loss to Denver after taking a brutal hit from Wes Welker, probably won't need surgery. He'll be replaced in the Pro Bowl by Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Talib will be a free agent after the season but there's a strong chance New England will use its franchise tag on the stud corner if the two sides can't work out a long-term agreement.
Description: Patriots All-Pro cornerback Aqib Talib has gone to the locker room with what appears to be a rib injury.
Insight: Talib got tangled up with Broncos receiver Wes Welker and limped to the sidelines. Talib got injured in the AFC Championship game last year as well. Devin McCourty has come on to take his place with Duron Harmon filling in for McCourty at free safety.
Description: Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard has returned to the game after leaving briefly in the first quarter.
Insight: Logan Ryan took over for a few snaps while Dennard had his shoulder looked at on the sidelines. It looks like he's okay to continue. Dennard had one tackle against Denver when he played them earlier this season.
Description: New England punter Ryan Allen is good to go for Sunday's AFC Championship game in Denver. SOURCE: Kevin Patra, NFL.com
Insight: Allen left last week's game with a shoulder injury. With Allen back, Tom Brady won't have to worry about holding the football for Stephen Gostkowski on field goal and extra point attempts. Gostkowski handled the punting duties last week with Allen sidelined.
Description: Patriots receiver Kenbrell Thompkins won't suit up Sunday against the Broncos. He's out with a concussion.
Insight: Thompkins suffered the injury last Saturday in a win over Indianapolis. Aaron Dobson is back after missing time with a foot injury so the Patriots are essentially swapping one rookie wideout for the other.
Description: New England receiver Kenbrell Thompkins has officially been diagnosed with a concussion. SOURCE: Zuri Berry, Boston Globe
Insight: Thompkins made it through a limited practice session on Wednesday, which gives him some hope for playing in Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Broncos. He's caught just nine passes since Week 7.
Description: Punter Ryan Allen left Saturday's game due to a sore shoulder after getting hit on a bad snap which sailed over his head.
Insight: Place kicker Stephen Gostkowski came in and did a great job, averaging 41.8 yards, on five punts. We should know more later in the week but we can't imagine the Pats want Gostkowski to handle both kicking duties in Denver.
Description: Patriots wideout Kenbrell Thompkins left Saturday's game in the third quarter due to a head injury and did not return.
Insight: He had missed the previous three games with a hip injury. Thompkins is questionable for the AFC Championship against Denver. With Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen all healthy, Thompkins only sees a rare target or three and his fantasy value is minimal.
Description: New England tight Rob Gronkowski underwent successful knee surgery on Thursday. SOURCE: Jeff Howe, Boston Herald
Insight: Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL in a game against Cleveland last month. The hope is that he'll be ready for training camp later this summer. When healthy, Gronk is arguably the best tight end in football with 42 touchdown receptions in his first four seasons.
Description: Patriots middle linebacker Brandon Spikes has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Insight: This comes after he competed in all 16 of New England's regular season contests. He's already been placed on injured reserve, which opens up a roster spot for rookie Ja'Gared Davis. According to the Boston Globe, Spikes, who recorded 86 tackles during the regular season, is likely headed for surgery.
Description: New England rookie Aaron Dobson (foot) didn't practice Tuesday and is questionable for Saturday's AFC Divisional Playoff against Indianapolis, according to Patriots beat reporter Jeff Howe.
Insight: Dobson hasn't done a thing since Week 9 and won't be a factor even if he is active. Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman should to the heavy lifting with help from Kenbrell Thompkins and Austin Collie.
Description: Playing in pouring rain, Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount had the game of his life Sunday in a win over Buffalo.
Insight: Blount was a force of nature on Sunday. He finished the afternoon with 334 all purpose yards including 189 yards from scrimmage. The 250-pound Oregon alum has found the end zone four times in his last two games. He had just three touchdowns in his previous 14 contests. He'll be the Patriots' featured back when New England hosts the winner of next week's wild card matchup between San Diego and Cincinnati.
Description: New England rookie Aaron Dobson is done for the day after aggravating his foot injury in the first half of Sunday's game versus Buffalo.
Insight: Dobson had one catch for six yards before leaving. With the slippery conditions in New England today, head coach Bill Belichick probably would have been better off sitting Dobson this week. Dobson's status for the postseason remains a mystery.
Description: Patriots rookie wideouts Aaron Dobson (foot) traveled to Baltimore for Sunday's game and has a chance to play, according to Mike Reiss of espnboston.com. Rookie Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) already has been ruled out.
Insight: Dobson has missed three games with a foot injury. He stepped up as one of Tom Brady's top targets from Weeks 6-11, but he shouldn't be used as a fantasy option if he plays Sunday even with Rob Gronkowski out. His return would make Danny Amendola a riskier option, though.
Description: Patriots rookie wideouts Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins were back at practice on Wednesday. SOURCE: Nick Underhill, MassLive.com
Insight: Dobson has missed three games with a foot injury while Thompkins has sat out the last two weeks with a hip ailment. New England could have used both players last week when Tom Brady struggled to find an open receiver on the final drive of the game. Look for the rookie duo to return Sunday at Baltimore.
Description: Patriots receiver Danny Amendola had his third 100-yard game of the season in Week 15 at Miami. He caught 10 balls for 131 yards on 14 targets.
Insight: That's three more than Wes Welker, for what it's worth. Amendola's first season in New England has been beset by injuries, but he's once again an important piece in this offense with Rob Gronkowski done for the year and rookies Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins also sidelined.
Description: Patriots QB Tom Brady targeted Julian Edelman 19 times and completed 13 for 139 yards and a touchdown Sunday at Miami.
Insight: After disappearing in the middle of the year, Edelman re-emerged as one of Tom Brady's preferred targets several weeks ago and his value was only boosted by Rob Gronkowski's injury last week. He's put up 37 catches, 414 yards and four scores on 51 targets over the last four games and has set career highs with 89 receptions, 914 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Description: The Patriots placed Rob Gronkowski on injured reserve Monday with a torn right ACL and MCL.
Insight: Gronkowski suffered the devastating injury Sunday against the Bengals. He's had to undergo five surgeries (four on his arm, one on his back) since last November and missed the first six games of 2013. Fantasy owners should expect the tight end to be questionable for the start of the 2014 season.
Description: According to Fox's Mike Garafolo, the Patriots believe tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered a torn ACL during Sunday's win over Cleveland.
Insight: This is absolutely devastating news for fantasy owners as Gronk has been the best tight end in football since his return from an arm injury in Week 7. We won't know Gronkowski's official diagnosis until he has an MRI on Monday but fantasy owners should be preparing for the worst.
Description: New England halfback Shane Vereen caught 12 passes for 153 yards in Sunday's 27-26 win over Cleveland.
Insight: Vereen hauled in 50 of those yards on one catch. He scored on a six-yard rushing touchdown to make it an eight-point game late in the third quarter. Vereen has been Tom Brady's favorite receiver over the past few weeks and with Rob Gronkowski likely out for the rest of the regular season (if not the whole season), the targets are going to keep coming his way. He should be starting in all formats at this point.
Description: New England QB Tom Brady threw for a season-high 418 yards in Sunday's come-from-behind win over Cleveland.
Insight: And he did it with Rob Gronkowski out of commission for most of the second half. After struggling mightily early in the year, Brady has looked like a totally different player over the past several weeks. Even if Gronk is done for the year, and it looks like he might be, we still have faith in Brady to get the job done. He'll face the Dolphins in Miami in Week 15.
Description: New England tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered a serious knee injury Sunday against Cleveland and had to be carted off the field.
Insight: If it's as bad as it looked, the Patriots' Super Bowl hopes just took a major hit. Nothing is going right for New England today as they trail 12-0 with just over six minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Description: New England rookie wideout Kenbrell Thompkins won't be active for Sunday's game against the Browns.
Insight: Thompkins is out with a hip injury. Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski should see most of the targets with Thompkins and Aaron Dobson both sidelined. Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen should be involved in the passing game also.
Description: New England wideout Aaron Dobson will miss his second straight game Sunday versus Cleveland.
Insight: He's still battling a foot injury. The Patriots are beginning to phase Dobson and rookie Kenbrell Thompkins out of the offense now that Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola are healthy again. Julian Edelman's emergence over the last few weeks hasn't helped Dobson either.
Description: New England halfback Stevan Ridley is officially active for Sunday's game versus Cleveland.
Insight: Ridley has lost a fumble in each of his last three games and will probably head to the showers early if he loses one again in Week 14. Ridley has always been a risky fantasy play but this week against a strong Browns' run D, the risks outweigh the rewards by a pretty significant margin.
Description: After being benched last week against Houston, it appears New England running back Stevan Ridley will play at least some role in Sunday's game versus Cleveland. SOURCE: Albert Breer, NFL Network
Insight: Ridley probably won't start but he could see a handful of carries against Cleveland's fifth-ranked run defense. Obviously, Shane Vereen will be playing on all passing downs. Ridley had a stretch of five games in a row with a touchdown earlier this year but we wouldn't recommend starting him during the fantasy playoffs.
Description: According to profootballtalk.com, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski's ankle is "fine."
Insight: Gronkowski had six catches for 127 yards and a touchdown Sunday against Houston but came up limping at one point after getting his ankle twisted under a defender. He should be good to go in Week 14 against the Browns.
Description: New England running LeGarrette Blount led the team with 12 carries and 44 rushing yards Sunday against Houston. He also scored a seven-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Insight: Stevan Ridley was inactive after losing a fumble in three straight games and Blount took his place in the "big back" role. Brandon Bolden had just four touches. This is a fluid situation, however, so don't read too much into how Blount and Bolden were used this week. Shane Vereen is the only Patriots RB with a steady role at the moment.
Description: With Stevan Ridley inactive for losing a fumble in three straight games, Shane Vereen led Patriots running backs with 15 touches (10 carries, five catches) and 75 yards from scrimmage in Week 13 at Houston.
Insight: Vereen scored his first touchdown of the season on a nine-yard catch in the third quarter. He has averaged 16.5 touches and 83 yards from scrimmage over the last two games and should continue to see that type of workload even when Ridley returns to the lineup.
Description: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 29-of-41 passes for 371 yards and two touchdowns with one interception Sunday at Houston.
Insight: Brady has completed 70.1 percent of his passes and averaged 360.8 yards per game and 8.80 yards per pass over the last four games after completing under 56 percent his first eight. He's once again a trustworthy QB1.
Description: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley is officially inactive for Sunday's game against Houston.
Insight: Ridley lost a fumble in three straight games and was benched after his latest gaffe in the first quarter Sunday night against Denver. Brandon Bolden and LeGarrette Blount will split early-down carries while Shane Vereen will handle passing downs. Vereen is the best flex option Sunday, followed by Bolden and then Blount.
Description: If RB Stevan Ridley is active at all for New England Sunday against Houston, he's not expected to receive many carries, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Insight: Ridley lost a fumble in three straight games and was benched after his latest gaffe in the first quarter Sunday night against Denver. Brandon Bolden and LeGarrette Blount will split early-down carries while Shane Vereen will handle passing downs. Vereen is the best flex option Sunday, followed by Bolden and then Blount.
Description: Updating a previous report, New England receiver Aaron Dobson missed practice Wednesday because of a foot injury. SOURCE: Nick Underhill, MassLive.com
Insight: Dobson (35 catches, 492 yards, 4 TD) has put together a solid rookie season but with so many other receiving weapons at Tom Brady's disposal right now, he won't be a fantasy option even if he plays this week.
Description: Patriots wideout Aaron Dobson wasn't able to practice on Wednesday. SOURCE: Boston Herald
Insight: As usual with New England, we won't know the extent of whatever injury he's dealing with until injury reports are released on Friday. Even then, we may not get a full diagnosis. Then again, if you're really that anxious to hear about Dobson's health status, your fantasy team may have taken a few wrong turns along the way. With all 32 teams in action this week, there are bound to be better options at wide receiver.
Description: Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston expects to see a rotation of Stevan Ridley, LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden in New England's "big-back" role going forward.
Insight: The Patriots went in that direction earlier this season when Ridley struggled with fumbling and ineffectiveness, and they likely will again because he has lost a fumble in three straight games. Ridley didn't play again after Denver returned his fumble for a touchdown with 9:54 remaining in the first quarter Monday night. Shane Vereen has the most stable role of any Patriots running back.
Description: New England running back Stevan Ridley lost another fumble last night against Denver. It was his third consecutive game putting the ball on the turf.
Insight: He didn't play again after the error and given the depth New England has in the backfield, he might not get a chance to redeem himself when the team take's the field next weekend. We could be looking at a Brandon Bolden/Shane Vereen timeshare against the Texans in Week 13.
Description: The Patriots waived RB/KR Leon Washington Saturday in order to clear a roster spot for cornerback Justin Green.
Insight: Washington logged just one rushing attempt during his brief tenure with the Patriots. He may catch on elsewhere but it's highly unlikely that he would have any fantasy relevance with his new team.
Description: Patriots corner Aqib Talib, back after missing three games with a strained hip flexor, re-injured it in the fourth quarter.
Insight: Talib had been leading the league in interceptions at the time of his injury and always covers the opposition's best receiver. With Denver next up on the schedule, Talib's health is of major importance.
Description: Patriots halfback Stevan Ridley fumbled in the first half Monday against Carolina and hasn't been on the field since.
Insight: This exact scenario unfolded in the season opener when Ridley fumbled and sat out the entire second half. LeGarrette Blount will take over as the lead back while Ridley waits it out in Coach Belichick's doghouse.
Description: New England halfback Brandon Bolden will be a healthy scratch Monday night against Carolina.
Insight: Whatever usefulness Bolden may have had has now vanished with Shane Vereen back in the lineup. He shouldn't be owned in fantasy unless one of the Patriots' top backs (Vereen and Stevan Ridley) gets hurt.
Description: Patriots have activated running back Shane Vereen for Monday's game against the Panthers.
Insight: Vereen has been practicing for weeks and seems to be almost fully recovered from the broken wrist he suffered in the season opener. He's a risky option this week because we don't know what type of workload he'll receive.
Description: According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Patriots expect to activate running back Shane Vereen for Monday's game against the Panthers.
Insight: Vereen has been practicing for weeks and seems to be almost fully recovered from the broken wrist he suffered in the season opener. He's a risky option this week because if he doesn't play fantasy owners will be left with few alternatives Monday. However, he should be owned in all leagues.
Description: New England won't know the status of injured running back Shane Vereen until Monday. SOURCE: Field Yates, ESPN Boston
Insight: That doesn't help fantasy owners a whole lot. Vereen has been practicing for weeks and seems to be almost fully recovered from the broken wrist he suffered in the season opener. If the Patriots' training staff gives him the green light for Monday's game against Carolina, he could cut into Stevan Ridley's carries.
Description: The Patriots cut Austin Collie on Tuesday.
Insight: New England brought Collie in during the first week of October for depth. He caught three passes in four games with the Pats. The oft-injured receiver could have trouble drawing interest at this point and certainly won't have any fantasy value this season.
Description: Patriots safety Steve Gregory has a broken thumb and will miss a few weeks. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: Gregory joins Vince Wilfork, Aqib Talib, Tommy Kelly and Jerod Mayo among the team's injured defensive starters. Normally one of the team's strengths, the rash of injuries has New England's defense looking more vulnerable than ever. Luckily, they have a bye this week to figure things out.
Description: New England running back Stevan Ridley ran over the Steelers for 115 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries in Week 9. He's rushed for six scores over the last four games.
Insight: New England finally turned Ridley loose after having him split carries with Brandon Bolden and LeGarrette Blount for most of the season. Sunday represented Ridley's highest carry total of the season and just his second game with more than 20 rushing attempts. However, with Shane Vereen (wrist) expected back in Week 11 after New England's bye in Week 10, fantasy owners should try to get RB1 value back for Ridley now.
Description: Just when you think he's washed up, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady pulls this out of his hat: 23-of-33 for 432 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions Sunday against Pittsburgh.
Insight: Go figure. Brady threw for 116 yards in Week 8 against the Dolphins and came in completing 55.7 percent of his passes with a 5.9 yards-per-attempt average. He also was playing against a defense that had allowed just five passing touchdowns and 11.6 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs this season. And yet he had his best game of the season by far.
Description: Patriots rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins is a healthy inactive in Week 9.
Insight: Thompkins has caught 23 of the 56 passes thrown his way for 334 yards and four touchdowns in eight games this season. His absence will make Aaron Dobson a safer play Sunday against the Steelers.
Description: New England DT Tommy Kelly (knee) has been placed on season-ending injured reserve. SOURCE: Boston Herald
Insight: Simply incredible. A whopping three Patriots defensive starters have been lost to season-ending injuries in the last month (Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo and Kelly). Chris Jones and Joe Vellano figure to split time at defensive tackle while Kelly is out.
Description: Patriots running back Shane Vereen returned to practice on Wednesday. SOURCE: Field Yates, ESPN Boston
Insight: Vereen hasn't played since breaking his wrist in the season opener. He's eligible to come off injured reserve Week 11 versus Carolina. Now is the time to pick him up if he's still available on the waiver wire.
Description: The Patriots have placed All-Pro tackle Sebastian Vollmer on season-ending injured reserve.
Insight: Vollmer broke his leg when he got tangled up with Miami's Randy Starks Sunday in the second quarter of New England's 27-17 victory. Marcus Cannon is a solid replacement at right tackle but he's no Vollmer.
Description: New England tackle Sebastian Vollmer was carted off the field with what is being called a right leg injury Sunday against Miami.
Insight: Vollmer was tripped up by Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks. He looked to be in a lot of pain and the training staff was quick to put his leg in an air cast. Obviously he won't be returning to action anytime soon. Marcus Cannon will take over for Vollmer at right tackle.
Description: The expected return of Danny Amendola added to the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski last weekend could make Patriots quarterback Tom Brady a fantasy stud again.
Insight: Brady has only surpassed the 300-yard mark one time this season, but has been dealing with a mostly inexperienced receiving corps. With these two guys back in the lineup fantasy owners will be expecting big things from Brady against the Dolphins in Week 8.
Description: Patriots receiver Danny Amendola (concussion) practiced on a limited basis for a third consecutive day on Friday.
Insight: He still has to complete a final independent test before he can play, but it's looking pretty good. If Amendola gets through the week without a recurrence of symptoms, he should start in Week 8 and would be a WR2.
Description: A shoulder issue limited Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in practice on Thursday. SOURCE: Shalise Manza Young, Boston.com
Insight: Aside from one spectacular drive at the end of Week 6, Brady has looked awful over his last three starts (1 TD, 3 INT, 51.2 completion percentage). The eight-time Pro Bowler's fantasy stock has never been lower.
Description: Patriots receiver Danny Amendola (concussion) practiced for the second straight day Thursday.
Insight: He still has to complete a final independent test before he can play, but it's looking pretty good. If Amendola gets through the week without a recurrence of symptoms, he should start in Week 8 and would be a WR2.
Description: Patriots receiver Danny Amendola (concussion) practiced Wednesday, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
Insight: That gives him a good chance of playing Sunday against the Dolphins. The Patriots don't divulge injury information but it's difficult to conceal concussion information, as we know a player has passed tests if they are allowed to practice. If Amendola gets through the week without a recurrence of symptoms, he should start in Week 8 and would be a WR2.
Description: New England halfback Shane Vereen could return to practice soon. SOURCE: Jeff Howe, Boston Herald
Insight: Vereen has been out for the last month and a half with a broken wrist. He won't be eligible to return until Week 11 at the earliest. When he does, there's a good chance he'll take away carries from Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden. He could be worth a stash if you have an open spot on your roster.
Description: Bad news for fantasy owners: Rob Gronkowski's return to action didn't elevate Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's fantasy value.
Insight: Brady had 228 yards, zero TDs and one pick on 22-of-46 passing against the Jets. He just hasn't looked right all season, throwing for 1,708 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions in seven games. The 36-year-old is completing just 55.4 percent of his passes and averaging 5.99 yards per attempt, both of which are career worsts.
Description: Patriots QB Tom Brady targeted TE Rob Gronkowski 17 times Sunday against the Jets in Gronkowski's 2013 debut.
Insight: Gronkowski produced eight catches for 114 yards in his long-awaited return to the field after missing the entire season to this point with back and forearm injuries. He'll be a TE1 lock every week as long as he's healthy.
Description: According to Josina Anderson of ESPN, Rob Gronkowski (back, arm) is active for Week 7 against the Jets.
Insight: Gronkowski was finally cleared to play by his team of doctors this week but the final decision was up to Bill Belichick. Gronk is a top-five tight end this week and is a must-start if you own him. He has four touchdowns in five career games against the Jets.
Description: Patriots star cornerback Aqib Talib is almost certain to miss Sunday's game against the Jets.
Insight: Talib did practice on Friday but ESPN's Chris Mortensen notes that he didn't look very comfortable. Talib injured his hip during last week's win against the Saints. He's tied for the league-lead in interceptions with four.
Description: New England cornerback Aqib Talib (hip injury) returned to practice on Friday after missing the first two sessions this week.
Insight: Talib isn't likely to be 100 percent by kickoff and the Pats may try to squeeze past the Jets without him. Given Bill Belichick's communication with the media, we probably won't know for sure until inactives are announced Sunday morning.
Description: According to his agent Drew Rosenhaus, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has finally been medically cleared to return to game action.
Insight: It's great news for Gronk and Tom Brady owners. Gronkowski has been one of the most prolific red zone receivers in football during his short career. He enters Sunday's game against the Jets with 38 touchdowns in 43 career games.
Description: The agent for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Drew Rosenhaus, has spoken to try and deflect some of the negative comments concerning his client and it may have actually helped.
Insight: Rosenhaus said his client has not been cleared to play by Dr. James Andrews and when he was, he'll play. Most of the noise had been that it was his, or someone in his entourage, that was keeping him from getting back on the field. It he hasn't been cleared by Saturday, don't expect him to be out there on Sunday.
Description: Patriots receiver Danny Amendola (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston.
Insight: New England officially confirmed that Amendola has a concussion. He's a long shot to play Sunday against the Jets, leaving Julian Edelman, Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson as the top three wideouts for the Pats.
Description: New England has officially placed injured linebacker Jerod Mayo (torn pectoral muscle) on injured reserve.
Insight: His season is over. It's been a devastating year for the Patriots injury-wise with Vince Wilfork, Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and Mayo all hurt (Stevan Ridley also missed a game earlier this year) but somehow Bill Belichick's squad still has the NFL's third-best record at 5-1. Rookie Jamie Collins (six tackles, one fumble recovery) is next up on New England's depth chart at weakside linebacker.
Description: Patriots LB Jerod Mayo could miss the rest of the season after having surgery Tuesday to repair a torn pectoral muscle, Yahoo! Sports reports.
Insight: Mayo is the Patriots' leading tackler with 55 total, but he's unlikely to play the rest of this season. Mayo is the second major player the Pats have lost on defense in the past few weeks after Vince Wilfork suffered a torn Achilles.
Description: The Patriots have yet to offer an update on receiver Danny Amendola (probable concussion).
Insight: According to Tom Curran of CSN New England, the Patriots have put out the word to quit talking about any injured players after there were numerous leaks about Rob Gronkowski in the past few weeks. The Patriots were already pretty tight-lipped regarding injuries, so if we can't count on leaks it's going to be a guessing game as to whether Amendola plays.
Description: After disappointing fantasy owners during the first five weeks of the season, Patriots running back Stevan Ridley blew up for a huge game Sunday against New Orleans.
Insight: New England finally abandoned the running back by committee in favor of a more Ridley-centric approach and the results were largely successful. Ridley gashed the Saints for 96 yards and two touchdowns, which were both season-highs. After spending several weeks in Bill Belichick's dog house, Ridley has finally returned to must-start status.
Description: Tom Brady's touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thompkins with five seconds remaining clinched the victory for New England Sunday in a thrilling finish at Gillette Stadium.
Insight: What ... a .... game. Sunday marked New Orleans' first loss of the season. It wasn't a great day overall for Brady (25-for-43, TD, INT, 269 yds) but the 70-yard game-winning drive he led with just over a minute remaining was nothing short of incredible. Sunday proved that even at age 36, Brady's still got it.
Description: Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (arm) has officially been ruled out for Sunday's game against New Orleans.
Insight: Well that settles that. NBC's ProFootballTalk reports that Gronkowski will return in Week 8 at the latest but given the events that have transpired, we don't know what to believe anymore. All fantasy owners can do with Gronk is wait and hope for the best.
Description: According to ESPN's Ed Werder, tension is beginning to grow between Rob Gronkowski (arm) and his Patriots teammates as he continues to sit on game day while dominating in practice all week.
Insight: According to Werder, some of his teammates wonder if Gronk has any intention of playing at all this season. We're not sure what exactly Gronkowski is up to but it sure isn't helping fantasy owners. Ignore him until further notice.
Description: The Boston Globe reports that it's mostly up to Rob Gronkowski (arm) when he will play again. The Patriots have already cleared him to return to game action.
Insight: He hasn't gotten the go-ahead yet from Dr. James Andrews. Gronkowski is really starting to frustrate fantasy owners and at this point, his teammates and coaches have to be just as irritated. Gronkowski has been practicing for over a month now and seems to be perfectly healthy. Don't expect him to be on the field Sunday when New England hosts the undefeated Saints.
Description: Patriots defensive tackle Tommy Kelly missed practice again Friday and is not expected to play this week.
Insight: Added to the already gone Vince Wilfork, the Pats could be vulnerable to the run up the middle. Of course, playing the New Orleans Saints thie weekend means they will see Drew Brees fading back to pass more often than Pierre Thomas or Darren Sproles running through the line.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (arm) has still not been cleared to play, according to a ProFootballTalk.com report.
Insight: Dr. James Andrews will have the final call on Gronk's availability for Sunday's game and it could be a game-time decision. The optimism that was early in the week is gone and you should be ready with a backup plan in case the Pats decide to wait another week on Gronk.
Description: New England halfback Stevan Ridley (thigh) was back at practice on Wednesday.
Insight: Ridley has been a disaster in 2013. Even if he returns for Sunday's game against New Orleans, he's likely to share time with LeGarrette Blount and possibly Brandon Bolden. Right now, Ridley is a flex option at best.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (arm, back) is likely to play in Week 6 against the Saints, reports ProFootballTalk.com.
Insight: A source said that Dr. James Andrews will have the final call on Gronk's availability for Sunday's game. The tight end missed all of the preseason and the first five regular season games after undergoing multiple surgeries on his forearm and one on his back earlier this year. If he plays, he's a must-start TE1.
Description: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady targeted Danny Amendola nine times in the receiver's return to action Sunday against the Bengals, but Amendola had just four catches for 55 yards.
Insight: Amendola dropped a couple of passes or he would have had a much better day. As is, he led the Pats in receiving yards and targets Sunday and should be a trustworthy fantasy receiver if he can stay on the field.
Description: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in 52 games Sunday against the Bengals.
Insight: The return of Danny Amendola did not cure New England's passing woes, as Brady completed 18-of-38 for 197 yards with one interception. Brady has had difficulty developing a rapport with his new receiving targets this season and it has caused him to complete under 60 percent of his passes.
Description: FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reports that Patriots receiver Danny Amendola will play Sunday against the Bengals but the team is planning to limit his reps.
Insight: He sat out the last three games with a groin injury. With Amendola playing but limited, it's anyone's guess as to who among Amendola, Julian Edelman and Kenbrell Thompkins will see the most targets from Tom Brady. All three are boom-or-bust WR3s.
Description: Patriots receiver Danny Amendola made the trip to Cincinnati with his teammates. He'll be a game-time call Sunday against the Bengals. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: He's expected to play after sitting out the last three games with a groin injury. Amendola had ten catches for 104 yards in the opener and should produce a similar output on Sunday, assuming he's active.
Description: New England tight end Rob Gronkowski won't be available Sunday versus the Bengals. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: He didn't make the flight to Cincinnati. The goal for Gronkowski (back surgery) has always been Week 6 so this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Danny Amendola, however, is expected to return after missing the last three games with a partially torn groin.
Description: New England's top wide receiver Danny Amendola said he's "looking forward to Sunday." SOURCE: Field Yates, ESPN Boston
Insight: The Patriots are generally very tight-lipped when it comes to injuries and potential Sunday availability but this seems like a pretty big hint. After three weeks on the sidelines with a partially torn groin, it looks like Amendola is finally ready to return to the fold. Now the only question that remains is whether or not Amendola, a talented but extremely injury-prone commodity in recent seasons, will be able to make it through an entire 60 minutes of football Sunday at Cincinnati.
Description: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley (thigh) didn't practice Friday, his third straight day on the sidelines and will miss New England's Week 5 game against Cincinnati.
Insight: Ridley has been a disaster in 2013 and this thigh injury certainly won't help his plummeting fantasy stock. LeGarrette Blount should see a boost in value this week with Ridley out and backup Brandon Bolden also at less than 100 percent.
Description: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley (thigh) didn't practice Friday, his third straight day missed
Insight: Ridley has been a disaster for fantasy owners this season and this injury isn't helping anything. He's likely to miss Sunday's game as coach Bill Belichick usually doesn't play guys who don't practice. The value of LeGarrette Blount should be on the rise.
Description: Patriots halfback Stevan Ridley (thigh) didn't practice Thursday.
Insight: Ridley has been the biggest fantasy bust this side of C.J. Spiller. Even if Ridley plays Sunday against Cincinnati, he is in a full-blown timeshare with LeGarette Blount on early downs and sits in passing situations in favor of Brandon Bolden.
Description: Patriots halfback Stevan Ridley suffered a thigh bruise at practice on Wednesday. SOURCE: Nick Underhill, MassLive.com
Insight: It's not expected to affect his status for Sunday's game versus Cincinnati. A season after finishing sixth in the league in carries, Ridley now finds himself in a timeshare with LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden. He has more upside than those two but we're still hesitant to start Ridley this week against a tough Bengals run defense.
Description: Patriots receiver Danny Amendola (groin) practiced Wednesday and has a good chance of returning to action Sunday.
Insight: Amendola has missed three straight games after catching 10 passes for 104 yards in Week 1. We won't likely get any solid information out of coach Bill Belichick, so your decision to start or sit him will have to wait until inactives are announced Sunday morning.
Description: The Patriots are hoping to have wide receiver Danny Amendola (groin) back for Week 5. SOURCE: Albert Breer, NFL Network
Insight: They were hoping to have him back this week too, so take this statement with a grain of salt. It's another away game for the Patriots so we should know Amendola's status on Saturday before the team travels to Cincinnati.
Description: Fox's Jay Glazer reports that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (back, forearm) is targeting Week 6 for his return to action.
Insight: To those who have watched him practice over the past two weeks Gronkowski appears to be ready to play, but the Boston Globe reported Saturday that the tight end's camp doesn't want him to risk re-injury.
Description: ESPN's Adam Schefter has confirmed that Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola will not play Sunday against Atlanta.
Insight: Amendola was never expected to play and according to Schefter, he didn't even make the trip to Atlanta with the rest of the team. Amendola's groin appears to be improving. We'll see if he's ready to go next week against Cincinnati.
Description: New England tight end Rob Gronkowski didn't travel with the team to Atlanta. He's out for Sunday's game against the Falcons. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: This sounds like Derrick Rose all over again. Gronkowski appears to be in perfect health, yet for whatever reason the team is hesitant to play him. The good news is that fantasy owners now have 24 hours to adjust their lineup instead of waiting until 8:00 and getting burned at the last minute on Sunday night.
Description: According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski's status for Sunday "remains a mystery that grows murkier by the day."
Insight: Schefter adds that those who have watched Gronkowski (back, forearm) at practice the past two weeks insist he looks like he is "absolutely ready to play" and are "baffled" why he has not yet returned. The Boston Herald reported Saturday that the Patriots think Gronkowski is ready but Gronk's camp wants to make sure he is fully healthy to avoid a setback like the one he suffered last year.
Description: Two sources have told the Boston Herald that there is a divide between the Patriots and Rob Gronkowski over his availability for Sunday's game against the Falcons.
Insight: The Patriots think Gronk is ready to return to action after undergoing several surgeries on his arm and one on his back this offseason. However, the tight end and his camp are wary about coming back before he's ready after he rushed back from a broken arm last year and re-injured it. The Herald reports that the divide goes back to training camp, when the Patriots believed Gronkowski would be ready as early as Week 2 but the tight end's camp eyed a target date around Week 6. We should know Saturday night whether or not Gronkowski made the trip to Atlanta for Sunday night's game.
Description: A source tells the Boston Globe that Rob Gronkowski (back, forearm) and Danny Amendola (groin) are both expected to play Sunday against the Falcons.
Insight: That contradicts several reports from the past few days. Rolling with Gronkowski or Amendola this week is going to be incredibly risky for fantasy owners given New England plays in the Sunday night game.
Description: According to NBC's Pro Football Talk, the Patriots aren't optimistic that Rob Gronkowski will play Sunday versus Atlanta.
Insight: Arm and back surgeries have kept Gronkowski off the field since January. New England's game doesn't start until 8:30 on Sunday so we'd advise owners to go with someone else at tight end this week.
Description: Multiple sources are reporting that Patriots receiver Danny Amendola is doubtful to play Sunday against the Falcons.
Insight: Amendola starred in the season opener (10 catches, 104 yards) but hasn't played since because of a torn groin. At least it looks like the Patriots will be getting some relief in the receiving game as tight end Rob Gronkowski is better than 50 percent to play in Week 4.
Description: Patriots coach Bill Belichick said tight end Rob Gronkowski (back) is "making progress" but in typical fashion wouldn't give away any information about whether he'll play in Week 4.
Insight: Gronk is definitely needed and the pressure is high for him to return, but the Patriots keep finding ways to win without him and wideout Danny Amendola. Still, it would make Tom Brady and fantasy owners very happy to see Gronkowski in the starting lineup Sunday night against Atlanta.
Description: New England QB Tom Brady (25-for-36, 225 yards) got back on track with a two-touchdown day Sunday against the Buccaneers.
Insight: He still didn't look like the Brady of old but given his lack of resources (his two best receivers are rookies), it was a pretty good outing. Things are only going to get better for Brady as Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola both have a very real chance of playing next week against the Falcons.
Description: Tom Brady's Week 3 fantasy value takes a big hit with Rob Gronkowski out of the lineup.
Insight: None of Brady's receivers outside of Julian Edelman showed any ability last week against the Jets and with Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson anchoring the Tampa Bay secondary, it could be a long day for the Pats' offense. Without his most reliable receiver, Brady isn't a top-ten fantasy quarterback.
Description: New England left end Rob Ninkovich has agreed to a three-year contract extension. SOURCE: Mike Reiss, ESPN Boston
Insight: The figures of the deal have not been released and since it's the Patriots, we probably won't know for a while. Ninkovich doesn't get as much attention as Vince Wilfork but he's still an excellent defender with a knack for making big plays. The former Purdue Boilermaker has forced 11 fumbles and recovered seven more since the start of 2010.
Description: The Patriots list TE Rob Gronkowski (back) as questionable for Week 3.
Insight: He's definitely getting close, but ProFootballTalk.com reported this week that Gronk is closer to doubtful than questionable. Fantasy owners should monitor the situation and have another tight end option ready for this week.
Description: According to NBC's Pro Football Talk, Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (back) is closer to doubtful than questionable for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Insight: ESPN reported that Gronkowski has a 50-50 chance to play, but PFT hears it is closer to 25 percent. His replacements, Zach Sudfeld and Michael Hoomanawanui, combined for just one catch in New England's first two games.
Description: According to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, Patriots receiver Danny Amendola will not undergo surgery for a sports hernia.
Insight: Amendola has torn adductor muscles, which connect the hips to the legs, but the surgery would have kept him out 4-6 weeks. The oft-injured receiver is a long shot to play Week 4 but could be back Week 5.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski participated in practice Monday and could be back a week earlier than expected.
Insight: Given the state of the Patroits' receiving corps and the mental state of quarterback Tom Brady, the team appears to be doing everything they can to get "Gronk" back for the next game. His appearance would be a huge boost to the New England passing game and could take pressure off the young receivers.
Description: According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, Patriots receiver Danny Amendola has torn adductor muscles, which connect the hips to the legs.
Insight: Amendola also may need sports hernia surgery. If he does, he'll miss 4-6 weeks, but if he avoids surgery he could be back in 1-4 weeks. Fantasy owners who drafted him knew the injury risk involved here but likely didn't expect to be dealing with it so soon into the season.
Description: After missing Week 1 with a hamstring injury, New England wideout Aaron Dobson will make his NFL debut Thursday against the Jets.
Insight: Dobson and Julian Edelman will share time on the outside with Josh Boyce and Matthew Slater splitting slot duty. Kenbrell Thompkins' poor outing in Week 1 has put him behind Dobson on the Patriots' depth chart.
Description: New England will be without tight end Zach Sudfeld Thursday against the Jets.
Insight: Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski are also out for the Patriots. Sudfeld, who is battling a pulled hamstring, barely played in Week 1 and when he was on the field, he didn't look that impressive. The one time Tom Brady threw to him he was intercepted.
Description: The Patriots should have tight end Rob Gronkowski back for Week 4 at the latest. He missed the season opener because he's still recovering from offseason back surgery. SOURCE: Ian Rapoport, NFL.com
Insight: Gronkowski hopes to play Week 3 against Tampa Bay. Michael Hoomanawanui is starting at tight end Thursday against the Jets.
Description: According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Danny Amendola is expected to be sidelined for the next 2-to-6 weeks with a groin injury.
Insight: Well that didn't take long. Amendola couldn't even make it through the first week without getting injured. While he's out, Julian Edelman will be a must-start and Kenbrell Thompkins should be a decent flex or WR3 option.
Description: ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss said is wouldn't surprise him if Patriots receiver Danny Amendola (groin) doesn't return until Week 4.
Insight: Amendola led the team with ten catches for 104 yards in the season opener, but he's doubtful for Thursday's game against the Jets with a groin injury. It's the same old story with Amendola -- he has great production when he's on the field but is rarely able to stay there.
Description: The Boston Globe says that Patriots rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins was "pretty awful in several areas" in Week 1, "showing very little awareness."
Insight: Thompkins caught just four of his 14 targets, double-clutched his catches, slipped multiple times and twice was unable to get his second foot in bounds for a catch. He also made a diving catch on a slant that would have been a touchdown if he stayed on his feet and ran the wrong route on the goal line that led to a sack. However, with Shane Vereen, Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola all out for Thursday's game against the Jets, Tom Brady won't have anyone to throw to besides Julian Edelman and Thompkins.
Description: Patriots coach Bill Belichick followed Tom Brady in giving Stevan Ridley a vote of confidence. "Stevan’s a good player. I thought he ran hard. We have a long way to go. We’re going to need him. I’m sure he’ll contribute a lot for us this year." SOURCE: ESPNBoston.com.
Insight: Ridley was benched after fumbling in the second quarter Sunday against the Bills, but with Shane Vereen out with a wrist fracture the team has to go right back to him. Fantasy owners who drafted him to be a RB1 have no choice but to roll with him too.
Description: The Patriots have added running back Shane Vereen (wrist) to injured reserve/designated to return.
Insight: Vereen broke a bone in his wrist early in Sunday's game but still received a career-high 14 carries in Sunday's victory and finished with 159 total yards from scrimmage (101 rushing, 58 receiving). He was only expected to miss a few weeks after having surgery, but he'll be ineligible to return until Week 11 now.
Description: Oft-injured wide receiver Danny Amendola is at it again with a groin injury that a number of people say will keep him out of Thursday's game with the Jets.
Insight: Amendola led the team with ten catches for 104 yards in the season opener. The former Ram looked every bit as sure-handed as the player he replaced this offseason (Wes Welker, now of the Denver Broncos), but the injury bug has apparently already hit. Think Julian Edelman.
Description: New England tailback Shane Vereen will undergo wrist surgery on Monday, according to FOX's Jay Glazer.
Insight: Vereen received a career-high 14 carries in Sunday's victory and finished with 159 total yards from scrimmage (101 rushing, 58 receiving). He's expected to miss a few weeks which could give starter Stevan Ridley a chance to get back in the good graces of his coach after fumbling on Sunday and sitting out the second half.
Description: Patriots receiver Julian Edelman was one of Tom Brady's favorite targets Sunday against Buffalo.
Insight: Edelman came down with seven catches for 79 yards including a career-high two touchdown grabs. Until Rob Gronkowski returns from his back injury, Edelman will continue to be New England's go-to receiver in the red zone.
Description: Danny Amendola had a successful Patriots debut on Sunday.
Insight: Amendola led the team with ten catches for 104 yards. The former Ram looked every bit as sure-handed as the player he replaced this offseason (Wes Welker, now of the Denver Broncos). He should be in for a career-year as long as he can stay on the field.
Description: New England tailback Shane Vereen went over 100 yards rushing for the first time in his career Sunday against Buffalo.
Insight: Vereen received a career-high 14 carries in the victory and finished with 159 total yards from scrimmage (101 rushing, 58 receiving). Of course, we wouldn't expect Vereen to see this kind of workload on a week-to-week basis. He was filling in for starter Stevan Ridley, who was benched in the second quarter after his fumble led to a 74-yard touchdown for Buffalo.
Description: Patriots rookie receiver Aaron Dobson will miss Sunday's game with a hamstring injury.
Insight: Dobson, a 2013 second-rounder, fell behind undrafted rookie Kenbrell Thompkins during the preseason, and this injury won't help him make up ground. With Rob Gronkowski and Dobson out Sunday against Buffalo, Thompkins should see enough targets to make him a WR3.
Description: New England tight end Rob Gronkowski returned to practice on Sunday. SOURCE: Jeff Howe, Boston Herald
Insight: He was wearing full pads, the first time he's been able do that since undergoing back surgery. He's a longshot for Week 1 but it doesn't look like Gronkowski is too far away from returning. Week 3 against the Buccaneers could be a possibility.
Description: Leon Washington was among the Patriots' final roster cuts on Sunday.
Insight: It looked like Washington had the inside track to become New England's new kick returner but instead that honor will go to safety Devin McCourty. Washington has returned eight kicks for touchdowns in his seven-year career.
Description: According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, New England tight end Rob Gronkowski may be activated from the active/PUP list on Saturday.
Insight: That doesn't mean he's playing Week 1 against Buffalo. But it does mean that he'll be avoiding injured reserve, which would have cost him the first six games of the season. Gronkowski is still targeting a return in mid to late September.
Description: Patriots wideout Danny Amendola returned to practice on Monday, according to Mike Reiss.
Insight: Though we were never told what the injury was, it cost him about a week of practices. The injury-prone wideout could have a great season if he can stay on the field, but fantasy owners have to prepare for the more likely scenario that he'll miss a portion of the schedule.
Description: Patriots receiver Kenbrell Thompkins caught eight balls for 116 yards in New England's 40-9 exhibition loss to Detroit.
Insight: Thompkins continues to get work with Brady and the first team. The undrafted rookie certainly has emerged as someone to grab in fantasy drafts as the Patriots search for a No. 3 receiving option after Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski.
Description: According to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, Patriots wideout Danny Amendola isn't expected to play Thursday against the Lions.
Insight: In typical New England fashion, the Pats haven't specified what the injury is. For fantasy owners, it's a not so subtle reminder that Amendola, though extremely talented, is one of the more injury-prone players in the league at his position.
Description: Patriots receiver Danny Amendola missed Monday's practice and coach Bill Belichick called him "day-to-day" with an undisclosed injury.
Insight: No one involved appeared to be overly concerned, but with his injury history, fantasy owners must pay close attention. As Wes Welker's replacement, 100 catches are certainly possible for Amendola if he can stay healthy.
Description: Patriots receiver Danny Amendola looked every bit like Tom Brady's No. 1 receiving option, at least until we see Rob Gronkowski in uniform. Amendola caught six balls for 71 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown strike.
Insight: As Wes Welker's replacement, 100 catches are certainly possible for Amendola if he can stay healthy, but in four seasons at St. Louis he only completed a 16-game schedule one time (2010).
Description: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady went 11-of-12 for 107 yards and a touchdown in New England's second preseason game Friday at Tampa Bay, just two days after spraining his knee in practice.
Insight: Brady is a ridiculous 18-of-20 (90 percent) for 172 yards in the preseason. The Patriots QB also hasn't thrown a pick over 186 passes in four padded joint practices with the Eagles and Buccaneers, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. Concerns about Brady's weapons may actually make the quarterback underrated in fantasy drafts at an ADP of 50.4. Danny Amendola and rookies Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins and Zach Sudfield have all stood out during camp.
Description: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady returned to practice on Thursday and could play Friday against the Buccaneers.
Insight: Brady left practice Wednesday after a teammate fell on his left knee and the football world stood still for a couple of hours until his MRI revealed no structural damage. That he's ready to play in a meaningless game Friday should tell fantasy owners just how minor the injury was.
Description: According to NFL.com, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady expects to play Friday against the Buccaneers.
Insight: Brady left practice Wednesday after a teammate fell on his left knee and the football world stood still for a couple of hours until his MRI revealed no structural damage. That he's ready to play in a meaningless game Friday should tell fantasy owners just how minor the injury is.
Description: According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Patriots QB Tom Brady's MRI came back negative and he is now listed as day-to-day.
Insight: Brady left practice Wednesday after a teammate fell on his left knee, the same one he suffered an ACL tear in during Week 1 of the 2008 season, but fortunately the quarterback avoided another serious injury.
Description: NFL.com's Ian Rapoport is reporting that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's knee injury is "not serious."
Insight: According to Dan Roche of WBZ (CBSBoston.com), Brady has a knee sprain and is expected to be OK. We're still awaiting the official report from the team, however, before we advise fantasy owners and Patriots fans to stop holding their breath.
Description: New England QB Tom Brady tweaked his left knee in Wednesday's joint practice with Tampa Bay.
Insight: We await further word, but at this point we don't believe it to be serious. Brady doesn't need any physical ailments this season. He's already dealing with enough personnel issues at receiver and tight end to worry fantasy owners.
Description: Patriots receiver Kenbrell Thompkins continues to get reps with the first team and could be in the lead for the slot receiving role when the season begins.
Insight: The undrafted rookie certainly has emerged as someone to grab late in fantasy drafts as the Patriots search for a No. 3 receiving option after Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski. He should be monitored closely over the next two exhibition games to see if Tom Brady continues to show confidence in his young receiver.
Description: According to ESPNBoston.com, Patriots rookie receiver Aaron Dobson has "turned things around after a less-than-smooth beginning in the spring and has made himself more into a factor in training camp."
Insight: Rob Gronkowski is still questionable for Week 1, so the Patriots are seeking some of their young wideouts to step up as a No. 2 option behind Danny Amendola, who is expected to be on the field for most snaps. Given Amendola's injury history, rookies Dobson and Kenbrell Thompson should be drafted in most leagues.
Description: Patriots receiver Kenbrell Thompkins (4 receptions for 23 yards) appeared to be in sync with QB Tom Brady and the quarterback threw the ball his way frequently in their short time on the field.
Insight: The undrafted rookie certainly has emerged as someone to grab late in fantasy drafts as the Patriots search for a No. 3 receiving option after Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski.
Description: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley was impressive in a short time against a porous Philadelphia defense, rushing for 92 yards on eight carries.
Insight: LeGarrette Blount rushed for 101 yards on 11 carries, so we think this was more a matter of horrible defense, but Ridley's fantasy owners have to like that the Pats offense appeared to be run first to set up the pass.
Description: Patriots rookie rookie wideout Aaron Dobson could end up being a useful fantasy asset if he continues to shine, according to a Boston herald report.
Insight: With Rob Gronkowski questionable for Week 1 and Aaron Hernandez in prison, the Patriots need Dobson to step up and provide Tom Brady with another receiving option next to slot receiver Danny Amendola. We will get our first look at him in Friday night's preseason opener against Philadelphia.
Description: According to Boston Globe reporter Ben Volin, Patriots TE Zach Sudfeld is running exclusively with the first unit at this point and is catching everything thrown his way.
Insight: The 6-foot-7 Sudfield appears to be standing in for Rob Gronkowski (back), who is still on the active/PUP list and is questionable for Week 1. The undrafted rookie is an interesting name to keep an eye on late in fantasy drafts, as he would become a possible TE1 if Gronk has to begin the season on the PUP list and misses the first six games.
Description: According to the Boston Herald, Patriots receiver Kenbrell Thompkins has consistently been on the same page with QB Tom Brady.
Insight: The Herald says that Thompkins has "continued to stand out as a solid possession receiver with vertical skills." The undrafted rookie certainly has emerged as someone to grab late in fantasy drafts as the Patriots search for a No. 3 receiving option after Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski.
Description: A Boston Globe report on Sunday suggests that New England tight end Rob Gronkowski isn't close to returning from offseason back surgery.
Insight: In all likelihood, Gronkowski will be placed on the PUP/reserve list, which means he'd have to miss at least the first six games of the season. It's anyone's guess who stats at tight end for the Patriots in Week 1.
Description: Boston Globe reporter Ben Volin likes what he's seen from undrafted rookie tight end Zach Sudfeld calling him "the most fluid athlete on the field."
Insight: While he may not produce much for fantasy owners, he could end up being part of the Patriots offense since behind Rob Gronkowski the other options (Daniel Fells, Michael Hoomanawanui, Jake Ballard) have limited offensive potential.
Description: Patriots receiver Michael Jenkins has been running with the first string, but according to a Ben Volin Boston Globe report, he might not make the final 53-man roster,
Insight: Volin believes Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce are four receivers locked in and undrafted rookie Kenbrell Thompkins is the favorite for the fifth spot possibly leaving Jenkins out in the cold.
Description: According to the Boston Globe, Patriots receiver Danny Amendola has been "clearly the most polished receiver on the field" for New England.
Insight: That's not saying much, however, since New England's receiver group includes six rookies. "He’s a very good receiver," coach Bill Belichick told Sirius XM. "He can play outside, play inside. He can run after the catch, has returned kicks. Has good ball skills. Good concentration. Tough kid. We’re excited to have him and we’ll see how it all fits together. I know the quarterbacks are gaining a lot of confidence in his route-running and catching ability." As Wes Welker's replacement, 100 catches are certainly in play for Amendola if he can stay healthy, but he never has been able to do that.
Description: According to the Boston Globe, Patriots undrafted rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins was impressive the last two days of training camp and earned repetitions with the starting unit.
Insight: Robert Burgess of the Globe said Thompkins has been "catching everything that comes his way." The Patriots are searching for receiving options behind Danny Amendola, and rookies Aaron Dobson and Thompkins are leading the way so far. Michael Jenkins' roster spot is in jeopardy.
Description: Tom Curran from Comcast Sports New England said that Tim Tebow looked "horrendous" in his first official practice with the Patriots.
Insight: Curran was referring to Tebow's passing as two of his seven passes were intercepted. Tebow also took part in some receiving drills and even lined up as a running back a few times. He'll get reps this season, just probably not at quarterback.
Description: ESPN Boston predicts that rookie second-rounder Aaron Dobson will be given every chance to win the starting "X" receiver spot.
Insight: His competition is veteran Michael Jenkins. With Rob Gronkowski questionable for Week 1 and Aaron Hernandez in prison, the Patriots need Dobson to step up and provide Tom Brady with another receiving option next to injury-prone slot receiver Danny Amendola.
Description: According to ESPN Boston, Patriots undrafted rookie Kenbrell Thompkins' strong work in the spring likely was one of the factors behind Donald Jones' release Friday.
Insight: Thompkins has a few things working against him -- he will turn 25 on July 29, had modest college production and runs a 4.54 40-yard dash -- but the Patriots are also looking for receiving targets to step up.
Description: According to the Boston Globe, the Patriots do not plan on releasing cornerback Alfonzo Dennard following his drunk driving arrest.
Insight: Dennard could be facing jail time if the court determines that this is a violation of his probation (he was arrested for hitting a police officer a year earlier). At the very least, Dennard will probably be facing some kind of league-imposed suspension. Off-field transgressions aside, Dennard was terrific as a rookie and looks to have a bright future ahead of him in the Patriots' secondary.
Description: New England cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving Thursday morning in Lincoln, Nebraska. SOURCE: Mike Reiss, ESPN Boston
Insight: That could be a violation of his probation as Dennard has already been sentenced to a month in jail for his involvement in a bar fight over a year ago (the sentence doesn't begin until after next season). Dennard was extremely impressive as a rookie in 2012 (35 tackles, three interceptions) but the team might be adopting a zero tolerance policy in the wake of everything that has happened with Aaron Hernandez over the last month. Don't be surprised if Bill Belichick sends Dennard to the unemployment line after this incident.
Description: Look for Patriots running back Shane Vereen to be one of the players New England uses to replace Aaron Hernandez.
Insight: ESPN's Field Yates said that Vereen is "worth closely monitoring" in training camp. Due to Danny Woodhead's departure, Vereen already was expected to have an increased role this season. With Hernandez behind bars and released from the team, Vereen could end up being a nice PPR league running back.
Description: Tight end Jake Ballard wasn't moving well at all at Patriots OTAs this month. SOURCE: Boston Globe
Insight: That isn't surprising when you consider how many surgeries he's had on his knees over the past couple years. With Ballard looking slower than molasses, the Patriots better start looking at other options at tight end. New England fans will be praying for Rob Gronkowski to recover quickly from back surgery.
Description: Nick Underhill from MassLive.com reports that investigators seized ten bags of evidence from the home of Aaron Hernandez Saturday afternoon in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Insight: According to Underhill, the police were at the home for about four hours. Hernandez, who was barred from New England's practice facility earlier this week, was supposedly inside the house while all of this was taking place. Hernandez is being investigated in relation to the murder of Odin Lloyd. Lloyd had been dating the sister of Hernandez's girlfriend.
Description: According to FOX 25 Boston, authorities have issues an arrest warrant for Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in connection with a murder investigation. The warrant is for obstruction of justice, but State Police are not executing it for the time being.
Insight: "It may be that this is a squeeze tactic," FOX 25 legal analyst Brad Bailey explains. "It may be telling Mr. Hernandez that we have a warrant, a warrant for a crime that has a potential maximum penalty of seven years in prison, is a tactic to get him to come to the table, start talking and start cooperating. And that's where the lawyers may be saying, okay, we got it. You got our attention. We're willing to respond." With Rob Gronkowski also out following back surgery, the Patriots' tight end position, expected to be a position of strength, is up in the air.
Description: According to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, the Patriots are not expected to move Tim Tebow to tight end.
Insight: Tebow is expected to compete for a third-string quarterback spot. The Patriots have two of the best tight ends in football in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, but neither is certain to be active in Week 1, Gronk due to back surgery and Hernandez due to legal troubles stemming from an ongoing murder investigation.
Description: Both the Boston Globe and Sports Illustrated are reporting that New England tight end Aaron Hernandez is likely to be arrested in connection with the murder of Odin Lloyd.
Insight: With Rob Gronkowski likely to start the season on injured reserve, the last thing the Patriots need is for their other star tight end to be unavailable due to legal issues. The other tight ends on the Pats' roster are: Jake Ballard, Michael Hoomanawanui, Daniel Fells and possibly Tim Tebow.
Description: New England tight end Aaron Hernandez is being questioned by police in Attleboro, Massachusetts about a "possible homicide," though he isn't believed to be a suspect. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: With Rob Gronkowski likely to start the season on injured reserve, the last thing the Patriots need is for their other tight end to be in trouble with the law. Hopefully this all gets sorted out within the next couple of days.
Description: Tim Tebow's contract with New England will be worth $1.36 million over two seasons. SOURCE: Field Yates, ESPN Boston
Insight: That's the minimum base salary for a player entering his fourth season. The deal could be worth a maximum of $3.385 million if Tebow reaches all of his incentives, though that's highly unlikely. As for what position he'll play next season, coach Bill Belichick said, "We're going to do what's best for the football team."
Description: The Patriots have signed quarterback Tim Tebow and expect him to be in mini-camp on Tuesday. SOURCE: Ed Werder, ESPN
Insight: It makes sense because Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels drafted Tebow when he was still coaching the Broncos. For now it looks like Tebow will be third on New England's quarterback depth chart behind Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett. Tebow could also get some looks at running back and tight end.
Description: According to the Associated Press, free agent tight end Kellen Winslow will work out for the Jets on Tuesday.
Insight: Winslow only played one game last season, making one catch for 12 yards in his lone appearance for the Patriots. Dustin Keller signed with the Dolphins last month so the tight end spot in New York is up for grabs.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski's back surgery is tentatively scheduled for mid-June, according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network.
Insight: Gronkowski would have had the back surgery sooner, but the team had to wait for the infection to clear up in his fractured arm. Gronk had to have surgery four times on the arm because of the infection. He's expected to miss part of training camp and his Week 1 status is up in the air.
Description: New England wideout Julian Edelman is not a sure thing to make this year's 53-man roster, according to Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe.
Insight: Although Edelman has shown the ability to play the Wes Welker-role, the team will have a glut of wide receivers in camp, including Danny Amendola, Donald Jones, Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, Lavelle Hawkins among 11 choices.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski underwent successful surgery on his left arm Monday afternoon. SOURCE: Profootballtalk, NBC Sports
Insight: The good news is that the infection has subsided, which means that this will probably be the last procedure Gronkowski will need on his injured forearm. Now the attention shifts to Gronkowski's back, which might also require surgery. A Week 1 return is still possible for Gronk but it's probably going to go right down to the wire.
Description: More bad news for Rob Gronkowski fantasy owners. Not only does the Patriots tight end need arm surgery but it also looks like he'll need surgery on his back. SOURCE: ESPN
Insight: The Patriots are still optimistic that Gronk will be ready for Week 1 but given what's already unfolded this offseason, that's no guarantee. Danny Amendola and Aaron Hernandez will both see more targets if Gronkowski ends up missing time in the regular season.
Description: NFL.com is reporting that New England tight end Rob Gronkowski will have a fourth surgery on his injured forearm.
Insight: Gronkowski will probably need about ten weeks to recover. He'll almost certainly miss the beginning of training camp and it's possible he might not be ready for the Pats' season opener September 8th against Buffalo.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will undergo two weeks of antibiotic treatment on his left arm. SOURCE: Boston Globe
Insight: If there's no infection, he'll have the plate removed from his arm and his rehab will go on as planned. If the infection is still there, Gronkowski would likely have a fifth arm surgery and could miss the early portion of the 2013 regular season.
Description: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski still isn't sure if he'll need another surgery on his left arm. SOURCE: ESPN Boston
Insight: Gronkowski has already encountered multiple setbacks in his recovery from a broken arm. No news is good news and since we haven't heard much about Gronk's recovery over the last month, we'll assume he's on the comeback trail.
Description: The Patriots have acquired running back LeGarrette Blount from the Buccaneers.
Insight: And all they had to give up was practice squad running back Jeff Demps and a seventh-round pick. It's a nice pickup for the Pats as Blount should be the team's preferred goal line back next season. He might also get some third down looks now that third-down specialist Danny Woodhead is with the Chargers.
Description: The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that the Browns are no longer interested in acquiring New England quarterback Ryan Mallett.
Insight: Apparently the Patriots' asking price for Mallett was too high (New England wants a second-rounder as compensation). Some people are saying that Mallett is better than any quarterback in this year's draft. Bill Belichick and company should get plenty more phone calls about Mallett before Roger Goodell takes the podium tonight in New York.
Description: New England tight end Rob Gronkowski is going to wait a few weeks for his infection to go away before deciding whether or not to have another surgery on his left arm. SOURCE: Boston Herald
Insight: There's two ways Gronkowski owners can take this news. The glass half full people will say that at least Gronk isn't going for surgery, which would probably knock him out until September at the earliest. The glass half empty argument would be that if Gronk waits a few weeks and then decides to have surgery, he's going to miss a significant chunk of the regular season. Hopefully Gronkowski won't need surgery but he's certainly not out of the woods just yet.
Description: Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard has been sentenced to two years probation and a 30-day jail sentence for assaulting a police officer in Nebraska last April. SOURCE: Mike Rodak, ESPN Boston
Insight: He'll start his prison sentence on March 1, 2014 so Dennard should be available for the entirety of the 2013 NFL season. Dennard (35 tackles, three interceptions as a rookie in 2012) is an emerging star in the New England secondary so this is very good news for Pats fans.
Description: The Patriots will re-sign receiver Julian Edelman today, according to USA Today's Mike Garafolo.
Insight: Edelman has shown the ability to replicate Wes Welker-type receiving numbers on a short-term basis, but has never done it for a full season. He'll likely back up injury-prone Danny Amendola and have fantasy value only as a handcuff.
Description: Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowksi has encountered yet another setback in his recovery from a broken arm.
Insight: ESPN Boston is reporting that Gronkowski may have suffered another infection, which would prompt another surgery on his left forearm. If Gronkowski does need another surgery, he could be sidelined for the start of the regular season.
Description: Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty had offseason surgery to repair his injured shoulder. SOURCE: ESPN Boston
Insight: McCourty led New England with five interceptions last season. 2012 marked McCourty's first season as a full-time free safety. He should be fully recovered by the time training camp rolls around in July.
Description: The Patriots have signed former Falcons and Vikings receiver Michael Jenkins. SOURCE: Jason La Canfora, CBSSports.com.
Insight: We're going to go out on a limb and say this isn't the field stretching weapon New England is looking for. Jenkins had 40 receptions, 449 yards and two touchdowns last season and owns a 12.5 ypc average in his career.
Description: Field Yates of ESPN Boston reports that the Patriots have agreed to a four-year deal with right tackle Sebastian Vollmer.
Insight: Vollmer was an All-Pro selection for the Pats in 2010. His presence on the offensive line should comfort Tom Brady quite a bit. New England drafted Vollmer as a second-round pick from the University of Houston back in 2009.
Description: 2013 could be a big year for Patriots running back Shane Vereen reports ESPN Boston's Field Yates.
Insight: With Danny Woodhead out of the equation (he signed a two-year deal with the Chargers on Friday), Vereen will move up to second on New England's running back depth chart. Vereen is expected to inherit Woodhead's old role as the team's passing down back. He should also see a decent amount of third down touches throughout the year. Vereen won't be a 1,000-yard threat like his teammate Stevan Ridley but he's certainly a player to keep an eye on in PPR formats.
Description: Former Patriots wideout Donte' Stallworth was hurt in a hot air balloon accident on Saturday. SOURCE: Mike Reiss, ESPN Boston
Insight: He's currently recovering in a Miami hospital. Stallworth and his girlfriend both suffered burns in the accident. Stallworth finished with a bizarre stat line in 2012. In his only game he caught one pass for a 63-yard touchdown. The 32-year-old Stallworth is expected to make a full recovery.
Description: Jeff Howe from the Boston Herald reports that the Patriots are set to release wide receiver Brandon Lloyd.
Insight: Lloyd's roller coaster season in 2012 included a 190-yard outing against San Francisco in Week 15, a two-touchdown game against St. Louis and a pair of one-catch performances versus Miami in Weeks 13 and 17. Lloyd's next team will be his seventh in the last eight seasons.
Description: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that cornerback Aqib Talib has re-signed with the Patriots.
Insight: It's a one-year contract worth $5 million. The former first-round pick collected 40 tackles and two interceptions in 10 games last season. He played his first four games with the Buccaneers before being dealt to New England just prior to November's trade deadline. Talib sat out four games last season after testing positive for Adderall, a banned substance under the league's collective bargaining agreement.
Description: It would appear that the Patriots have found their new return specialist. Leon Washington and New England have officially agreed to a one-year pact.
Insight: Washington tweeted a photo of himself wearing a Pats hat on his Twitter timeline. Washington represented the Seahawks in the Pro Bowl this past season. Julian Edelman was New England's primary kick returner during the 2012 campaign.
Description: According to Tom Curran of CSNNE.com, Danny Amendola actually signed his contract with New England Tuesday but the team kept the deal under wraps. The Patriots reportedly still had their two-year, $10 million offer on the table for Wes Welker Wednesday.
Insight: Since news of the Amendola signing broke after Welker signed with the Broncos, it looked like a reactionary move on the part of the Patriots. According to Curran, New England's actual reaction came when Welker made it clear he would test the free agent market. New England didn't want to wait and risk losing both players.
Description: Meet Wes Welker's replacement, Danny Amendola. The Patriots have signed the former Rams wideout to a new five-year, $31 million contract.
Insight: A short slot receiver from Texas Tech ... sound familiar to anyone? Amendola is basically Welker 2.0. Tom Brady's rocket arm should propel the 27-year-old to his first 1,000 yard season in 2013, provided Amendola can stay healthy, something he hasn't done over the last two seasons with St. Louis.