AFC East: 2013 NFL injury wire

When asked if the Patriots have interest in safety Ed Reed, who was waived by the Texans on Tuesday, Bill Belichick said today: “I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment on players that aren’t on our team.”

Earlier, Belichick was asked about the process the Patriots go through to determine if they will sign a player that gets waived such as Reed.

He explained that the team usually has an indication that a player could become available, which allows time for the personnel department to gather more intelligence.

“We try to stay ahead of that, and of course, sometimes that depends on what our situation is," he said. "There are a lot of players that could be available out there [and] if you have a need at a certain position and it’s a fit, then you’re more interested or more apt to do something.”

Along those lines, Belichick was asked his thoughts on the Patriots’ safety spot, where starters Devin McCourty and Steve Gregory have been backed up by rookie Duron Harmon, with 2012 second-round pick Tavon Wilson and special teamer Nate Ebner rounding out the depth chart.

Gregory broke his right thumb on Nov. 3 and was expected to miss a “few weeks” at the time, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

“I think overall, we’ve had pretty solid play out of the five guys,” Belichick said, noting that Wilson and Ebner have missed some time with injuries with their primary contributions coming on special teams.

“Devin, Steve and Duron have kind of been in a little bit of a 3-for-2 situation, or sometimes 3-for-3 when we go to a dime defense and all of them are on the field at the same time. … I think those guys have all worked hard and when they’ve been on the field have all been solid contributors. We’ve certainly had a lot less problems this year than we had last year, the last couple years, with balls getting thrown over our head. We’ve made more plays on the ball back there. That’s been a pretty solid part of our defense. Tackling has been good; not perfect, but good in terms of not giving up big plays.

“There is always room for improvement and you always get tested every week, like I’m sure we will this week with a guy like Cam Newton. He can launch it as far as any anybody, [they have] a good group of receivers. It doesn’t really matter what we’ve done before, it will be what we do this week.”

Bills could be without Johnson, Woods

November, 11, 2013
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- If quarterback EJ Manuel wants to take a step forward this Sunday, he may have to do it without his top two receivers.

The Buffalo Bills could be without both of their top wide receivers -- Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods -- for their next game against the New York Jets.

After Johnson said Monday morning that he "didn't know" if he would be able to play, coach Doug Marrone echoed that uncertainty Monday afternoon.

"I think that he'll probably be limited on Wednesday," Marrone said. "We'll take a peek at it then to see how he's going, to see if he'll be able to play. We'll just see when he gets out there after resting him the next two days."

Meanwhile, the Bills were without Woods, their second-round draft pick, in Sunday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Marrone revealed Monday that Woods has a high-ankle sprain.

"I think we'll have to make a decision [on him]," Marrone said. "Whether we sit him this week and have him healthy for the next five games, or do we play him and take a chance of him not being available if he re-injures that ankle."

The Bills have their bye week after their tilt with the Jets, which could be part of why Marrone said he is leaning towards resting Woods.

"I’m probably more leaning to sitting him out right now," Marrone said Monday.

Robert Woods (ankle) misses practice

November, 6, 2013
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills rookie wide receiver Robert Woods was not spotted at the start of Wednesday's practice.

Woods left in the third quarter of Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs with an ankle injury. Coach Doug Marrone said X-rays on Woods were negative but said he expected to see Woods on the field Wednesday.

Meanwhile, rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin, who left in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury, was on the field for the start of practice. However, Goodwin left to work with the strength and conditioning staff as soon as his teammates broke into individual drills.

Quarterbacks EJ Manuel and Thad Lewis both practiced, as expected.

Practice report: More Chris Ivory

October, 3, 2013
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Running back Chris Ivory appears to be working his way back onto the field, doing more work with his position mates in the portion of the New York Jets' practice that was open to the media. Ivory has been rehabilitating a hamstring he injured against the Buffalo Bills.

Whether or not he participated in team drills, Ivory gets an extra day to make up ground since the Jets will play on Monday night in Atlanta. Mike Goodson should be active for that game as well, meaning the team will have double the number of running backs at its disposal. Bilal Powell has been the leading back this season, while Alex Green has been the second option with Ivory out.

Receiver Stephen Hill (concussion) was on the field in his No. 84 jersey, but wore a baseball cap to stretch. Afterwards he rode the bike. Receiver Santonio Holmes (hamstring) was not on the field at all, and neither was cornerback Dee Milliner (hamstring).

Offensive lineman Oday Aboushi (knee) also rode the bike instead of practicing.

Ridley not spotted again at practice

October, 3, 2013
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley was not spotted for the second straight day at the start of practice as he deals with a knee injury. As expected, nose tackle Vince Wilfork (Achilles) and wide receiver Matthew Slater (wrist) were also not spotted at practice.

It's unclear when the injury to Ridley was suffered, as he finished with a season-best 51 yards rushing in Week 4 against the Falcons. His status for this Sunday's game in Cincinnati remains unknown.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Danny Amendola continued their work on the practice field, as has been the case throughout recent weeks.

The practice was held in full pads.

Brady: Wilfork's presence is unmatched

September, 30, 2013
Appearing at halftime of the "Monday Night Football" radio broadcast on Westwood One, Tom Brady commented on Vince Wilfork's season-ending injury. Here's a transcript of what he said:

"Well, to say we'll miss him is an understatement. His presence in the locker room and on the field is really unmatched, so it will be a team effort. I know Coach Belichick said there's no Vince Wilforks on the street corner waiting to sign with the Patriots, which is the truth, but we're going to have to find a way to -- in a group effort -- replace such a valuable player. And he'll be around, his spirit, his leadership, he'll still have a big impact on our team. But he's been a great player for a long time and everyone's disappointed about his injury."

On if he can gauge what it does to the morale of the team when you lose such a player of that level of importance:

"Yeah, well, initially there's a blow to the team morale in that you wonder who's going to fill in that spot and who's going to take the void of such a great player. But then as soon as you get into the week, you start thinking about your job, how much you need to do and what the coaches are asking you, and then you really leave it to coach to think of the things that he can do now to help replace a guy like Vince as well as personnel. So injuries are really a part of the game and I think we've learned over the years that there's not one player that makes the team. Certainly losing a guy like
Vince doesn't help our team in any way, but we're going to have to find somebody to go in there and do the job of that nose tackle position and do it to the level that they're capable of. It's a team sport so the rest of the team has to pick up the pieces."

On if he sensed the severity of the injury when it occurred:

"I wasn't sure of the severity, I know that Vince never really goes down and stays on the ground so when he came over to the sideline and I went over and tapped him on the shoulder to ask him how he felt and he just kind of nodded his head which, I knew at that point that it wasn't a minor injury. He's as tough as they come. He's been durable, consistent. Like I said, his leadership and his ability to motivate the other players on the defensive side of the ball has been one of the best I've ever seen. So we'll miss him, we'll miss him for the rest of the year, but I know he'll come
back next year strong and as determined as ever."

On Rob Gronkowski and his injury status:

"He's been on the active roster for the last four weeks and I've seen him every day working as hard as he can to get back. So it ends up being a medical decision and that's not my role. So I'm just waiting for the day that he does get back because he adds so much to our offense. Every week that he's been out there he's made significant improvement. So it'll be great when he's back and it'll be great when we get Danny Amendola back and Shane Vereen back and finally we can see what our offense is really made of. Whether that's this week or the following week or the following week. I mean those things are really not determined by me."
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Despite holding just a walk-through practice Monday evening, the Buffalo Bills were required to release a practice participation report in advance of their Thursday night game against the Cleveland Browns.

Running back C.J. Spiller (ankle) and cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (wrist) and Ron Brooks (foot) were listed as "did not practice." ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported earlier Monday that Spiller will play Thursday night.

Meanwhile, running back Fred Jackson, who sprained his MCL in Sunday's win over the Ravens, and cornerback Aaron Williams, who did not finish Sunday's game due to a lower back injury, were among eight players listed as "limited" in the walk-through session.

Here is the full walk-through participation report:

RB C.J. Spiller (ankle)
CB Stephon Gilmore (wrist)
CB Ron Brooks (foot)

S Jairus Byrd (foot)
WR Marquise Goodwin (hand)
K Dustin Hopkins (right groin)
RB Fred Jackson (knee)
WR Steve Johnson (hamstring)
CB Leodis McKelvin (hamstring)
G Kraig Urbik (knee)
CB Aaron Williams (low back)

Stephen Hill diagnosed with concussion

September, 30, 2013
Tough season for the New York Jets' wide receivers.

Stephen Hill, who left the game Sunday after suffering a head injury on the second play, was diagnosed with a concussion, Rex Ryan announced Monday. The second-year receiver was evaluated again as part of the league's protocol on concussions. It means he probably won't play next Monday night when they face the Atlanta Falcons (1-3) on the road.

Fellow receiver Jeremy Kerley suffered a concussion in the opener and missed the next game.

Hill was drilled by Titans safety Michael Griffin on the second play of the game, an underthrown ball that was intercepted by cornerback Alterraun Verner. Surprisingly, there was no flag thrown on the play. Hill walked slowly off the field and was taken to the locker room for testing.

Ryan didn't comment on the legality of the hit, saying only that there was no penalty.

The Jets could be without their starting receivers in Atlanta, as Santonio Holmes pulled a hamstring in the fourth quarter. He, too, didn't return. Ryan provided no update on Holmes, who missed the preseason as he recovered from last season's foot surgery.

Hill is the second-leading receiver on the team, with 13 catches for 233 yards and one touchdown. He's only 19 yards shy of his rookie total. Holmes has 10 receptions for 243 yards and a touchdown.

If they can't play, the likely starters would be Kerley and Ben Obomanu or Clyde Gates, with rookie Ryan Spadola also available in reserve. They could try to sign veteran free agent David Nelson, whom they worked out last week.

There will be one returning player on offense -- RB Mike Goodson, who became eligible Monday to rejoin the team for practice. His four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy is over.

Belichick: Vince Wilfork undergoing tests

September, 30, 2013
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn’t shed any new light on Vince Wilfork's Achilles injury on Monday morning, telling reporters on a conference call that the defensive lineman was undergoing tests but he otherwise did not have information on his injury.

“I really don’t know much right now,” Belichick said, adding that with the late game Sunday and traveling back Monday, he hasn’t had a chance to talk to the medical staff.

Wilfork left Sunday night’s victory against the Falcons in the first quarter and did not return. A league source indicated early Monday that the injury was a torn right Achillies and would likely sideline him for the season.

“He’s a great player, we all know that, and he gives us great leadership,” Belichick said. “He’s a strong contributor on and off the field and in the locker room. ... We’ll just have to see how things come together for him. Obviously if he’s not there, everybody will have to pull a little bit more weight on their end.”

Belichick did indicate he might have more information later Monday.

“It’ll all come together here at some point during the day,” he said.
ATLANTA -- New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork left Sunday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons with an ankle injury in the first quarter, limping off the field on the Falcons' first drive of the game.

He was later taken to the locker room on the back of a cart.

The Patriots announced his return as questionable.

Wilfork, one of the team's captains, is a perennial Pro Bowler and vital cog to the team's defense, particularly against the run. He had been added to the team’s injury report this week for the first time, as probable with a foot injury.

The Patriots have been thin at defensive tackle since training camp started in late July, in part because Armond Armstead opened on the non-football injury list after undergoing surgery for an infection. Armstead remains on the non-football injury list, leaving the Patriots with Wilfork, fellow veteran Tommy Kelly and rookies Joe Vellano (undrafted) and Chris Jones (sixth-round pick from the Texans claimed on waivers) at defensive tackle.

McKelvin, Byrd inactive for Bills

September, 29, 2013
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin and safety Jairus Byrd are both inactive Sunday, leaving the Bills shorthanded in their secondary against the Baltimore Ravens.

McKelvin, who left last Sunday's game with a hamstring injury, was listed as questionable. In his place, the Bills are expected to start Aaron Williams at cornerback alongside Justin Rogers.

Byrd has missed the first four games of the season, dealing with foot soreness. The Bills are expected to start Da'Norris Searcy and Jim Leonhard at safety.

Full list of Bills inactives:

CB Leodis McKelvin
S Jairus Byrd
OL Doug Legursky
CB Stephon Gilmore
K Dustin Hopkins
WR Marquise Goodwin
CB Ron Brooks

Vollmer, Washington make trip

September, 28, 2013
ATLANTA -- Starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer and running back/kickoff returner Leon Washington, both of whom were questionable on Friday's injury report, have made the trip with the Patriots.

That means they still have a chance to play in Sunday night's game against the Falcons.

Vollmer missed the second half of the team's 22-3 win over the Buccaneers on Sept. 22 with a foot injury, while Washington was inactive for the game with a thigh injury.

The Patriots downgraded just two players Saturday -- receiver Danny Amendola and tight end Rob Gronkowski. They join special-teams captain Matthew Slater as players who will not play.

The Patriots must declare four more players inactive by 90 minutes before kickoff.

Miami Dolphins' final injury report

September, 28, 2013
The Miami Dolphins released their final injury report and game status for their big matchup with the New Orleans Saints on “Monday Night Football.”

Here is a look at the status for Miami players:

Dolphins (3-0)

Out: CB Dimitri Patterson (groin)

Questionable: DE Cameron Wake (knee), DT Paul Soliai (knee), LB Koa Misi (shoulder), LB Jonathan Freeney (shoulder)

Probable: C Mike Pouncey (ankle), LB Philip Wheeler (thumb), WR Brandon Gibson (knee), S Jimmy Wilson (groin), LB Dannell Ellerbe (ribs), S Chris Clemons (hamstring)

Analysis: Wake and Soliai are the big question marks for Miami. Wake made a brief appearance in the locker room Saturday but refused comment on his injured knee. He’s practiced Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday in an effort to show the coaching staff he can play. Wake is questionable and a game-time decision. Soliai also returned to practice on Thursday and Saturday. He’s optimistic that he can play, but Soliai may need another week. He’s also questionable. Misi practiced all week and is expected to play. Patterson is ruled out and will be replaced by backup cornerback Nolan Carroll for the third straight game.

Dolphins report: Wake practices again

September, 28, 2013
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins are putting their finishing touches on preparation for Monday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

Here are some notes and observations from Saturday's practice:
  • Miami Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake (knee) practiced again to complete the full week of sessions. Wake went through individual drills and participated in a small portion of team drills open to the media. Wake doesn’t look 100 percent from what I’ve seen during the week. But he’s practiced every day in some capacity.
  • Dolphins cornerback Dimitri Patterson (groin) did not practice Saturday and is not expected to play against the Saints. Patterson missed every day of practice this week. He worked on the side with trainers. Backup cornerback Nolan Carroll will most likely get his third consecutive start.
  • Miami starting defensive tackle Paul Soliai (knee) did individual work in the portion of practice open to the media. Soliai is progressing but his status remains up in the air. Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi (shoulder) practiced and appears ready to go.

Miami's final injury report with playing status will come out later this afternoon. The Dolphins will travel to New Orleans on Sunday to get ready for the battle of undefeated teams.

Patriots-Falcons injury report

September, 27, 2013