AFC East: Eric Alexander
The inactives lists are circulating through the Lucas Oil Stadium press box, and the big news is that the Patriots have scratched left end Ty Warren, who had been listed as questionable with an ankle injury. Right end Jarvis Green was an expected scratch.
Two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Matt Light, who returned to practice this week, is out again. Rookie Sebastian Vollmer should get his fourth straight start and will have the pleasure of fending off Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney.
A name not on the inactive list is rookie receiver Julian Edelman. He missed the past two games with a broken forearm.
The complete this of inactives:
New England Patriots
- Running back Sammy Morris
- Running back Fred Taylor
- Guard Rich Ohrnberger
- Tackle Matt Light
- Defensive end Ty Warren
- Defensive end Jarvis Green
- Linebacker Eric Alexander
- Cornerback Shawn Springs
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- No surprises on the inactive list for Sunday's game between the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium.
- Quarterback Tyler Thigpen
- Running back Kory Sheets
- Receiver Patrick Turner
- Tackle Andrew Gardner
- Tackle Lydon Murtha
- Nose tackle Jason Ferguson
- Inside linebacker Channing Crowder
- Outside linebacker Quentin Moses
ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss has done a fine job this week sorting through all of the New England Patriots' personnel updates.
Reiss correctly predicted the Patriots would re-sign linebacker Tully Banta-Cain after they cut him, and has been on top of the trade deadline, the Eric Alexander cut-and-sign, Joey Galloway's release and Sunday's decision to bench outside linebacker Adalius Thomas for Sunday's 59-0 mauling of the Tennessee Titans.
For the first time since coach Bill Belichick deactivated him, Thomas spoke to reporters Wednesday.
Reiss observed "Thomas' answers were short and to the point. He appeared upset."
Thomas stated his desire to move forward and declined to reveal what the reason was for his benching.
"Ask Bill," Thomas said. "He has all the answers."
All sorts of paperwork flew around Thursday in Foxborough, Mass.
Here's a review of all the moves that we know about:
- In their ongoing search for Asante Samuel's replacement, ESPN's Len Pasquarelli reports the Patriots agreed to terms with former Washington Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs.
- They sent a 2009 draft choice to the Philadelphia Eagles for receiver Greg Lewis, who figures to replace free-agent departure Jabar Gaffney as the No. 3 target. Here's a Lewis analysis from the Boston Globe's Mike Reiss.
- The Patriots announced they've re-signed linebacker Eric Alexander, safety James Sanders and punter Chris Hanson and released practice-squad linebacker Darrell Robertson.
- The Patriots also lost their fullback of the past four seasons, when Heath Evans joined the New Orleans Saints.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
As organized as Bill Belichick is, the New England Patriots probably didn't wait for the Scott Pioli situation to shake out in Kansas City before getting started on free agency.
The Patriots are expected to franchise unrestricted quarterback Matt Cassel as an insurance policy for Tom Brady's blown-out left knee. Cassel would receive a one-year qualifying offer worth almost $15 million -- the average of the top five salaries at his position.
Even if the Patriots and Cassel hammer out a deal on their own terms, his salary will gobble up a huge portion of the roughly $18 million to $20 million cap space they currently have. The actual salary cap number for 2009 hasn't been released.
Unrestricted (free to negotiate with any team beginning Feb. 27)
- QB Matt Cassel
- LB Rosevelt Colvin
- WR Jabar Gaffney
- P Chris Hanson
- S Rodney Harrison
- G/C Russ Hochstein
- LB Larry Izzo
- RB LaMont Jordan
- CB Deltha O'Neal
- LS Lonie Paxton
- S James Sanders
- CB Lewis Sanders
- LB Junior Seau
- DL Kenny Smith
- OL Barry Stokes
- S Tank Williams
- DL Mike Wright
Restricted (Patriots have right to match offer from other team)
Exclusive rights (cannot negotiate with other teams if tendered qualifying offer)
Greer injured his knee in Monday night's loss to the Cleveland Browns. Whitner came back too soon from his separated shoulder.
The good news for the Bills is that No. 2 receiver Josh Reed likely will return after missing three consecutive games.
In the other AFC East games:
- The New England Patriots are healthy by their standards for Sunday's road game against the Miami Dolphins.
- The Dolphins list nobody on their injury report. Tight end David Martin missed practice Friday for personal reasons.
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins have been criticized for their unpopulated injury reports. They issued another blank report Wednesday for their game against the New England Patriots, and no injuries to list in Week 12 seems rather dubious.
The more we learn about rookie head coach Tony Sparano, however, the more we understand.
Injury reports are less a descriptive rundown of injured players than, depending on the day provided, involvement in practice or the likelihood a player will suit up.
In Sparano's world, you practice and you play through pain. If you can't go, you're headed to injured reserve.
"Nobody feels sorry for you one way or the other," Sparano said. "The Patriots don't feel sorry for us. We really don't feel sorry for them.
"So at the end of this if you are hurt and truly hurt, that is one thing. If you are bumped up, nicked up, whatever it is -- there's a pretty good chance there is a lot of people in this league that are nicked up, hurt whatever it is -- they have to play.
"So the message is simple: If you want to go to heaven you have to die to get there. If you are in some of those situations you want to get to where you're going to be, well, you got to play hurt."
Most notable on the Patriots' injury list are four players who didn't practice Wednesday: running back LaMont Jordan (calf), linebacker Adalius Thomas (forearm), linebacker Eric Alexander (hamstring) and cornerback Jonathan Wilhite (sick). Defensive end Richard Seymour (toe) was limited.
The New York Jets, who will play the unbeaten Tennessee Titans, went without linebacker David Harris (groin) and safety Eric Smith (head). Receiver Laveranues Coles (thigh), linebacker Jason Trusnik (knee) and kicker Mike Nugent (thigh) were limited.
The Buffalo Bills, who will visit the Kansas City Chiefs, missed five defensive players in practice: defensive end Aaron Schobel (foot), linebacker Marcus Buggs (ankle), cornerback Jabari Greer (knee) and safeties Bryan Scott (knee) and Donte Whitner (shoulder).
Also out for Thursday night's big AFC East showdown with the New York Jets is starting defensive end Ty Warren, who has been limited all week with a groin injury and can't go on the slick Gillette Stadium turf.
Warren is second on the Patriots with 54 tackles. He also recorded both of his sacks over the past two games.
Thomas, who already had been ruled out with a forearm injury, leads the Patriots with five sacks.
But here's some good news for Patriots fans: Running back Sammy Morris is active after missing three games with a knee injury.Here are the other inactives:
New England Patriots
- QB Matt Gutierrez
- CB Terrence Wheatley
- CB Lewis Sanders
- RB LaMont Jordan
- LB Eric Alexander
- T Wesley Britt
New York Jets
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Because the New England Patriots staged a walkthrough Tuesday afternoon, it's difficult to determine exactly what the initial injury report means for Thursday night's game against the New York Jets.
Patriots running back Sammy Morris, coming back from a knee injury, was listed under "limited participation." That's better than running back LaMont Jordan, who didn't participate at all due to his nagging calf problem.
Also not participating for the Patriots were linebacker Adalius Thomas (forearm) and cornerbacks Lewis Sanders (hamstring) and Terrence Wheatley (wrist). Thomas is expected to be placed on season-ending injured reserve.
For the Jets, tight end Bubba Franks (hip), linebacker David Harris (groin) and safety
Eric Smith (head) didn't practice Tuesday. Limited were receivers Laveranues Coles (thigh), Jerricho Cotchery (shoulder) and Brad Smith, linebacker Cody Spencer (shoulder) and kicker Mike Nugent (thigh).
Here are Friday's significant updates from AFC East injury reports:
Pro Bowl defensive end Aaron Shobel (foot), starting right guard Brad Butler (knee) and reserve linebacker John DiGiorgio (knee) already have been ruled out for Sunday's road game against the Dolphins.
Cornerback Michael Lehan, who had been battling an ankle injury, pulled a hamstring this week in practice. The Dolphins placed him on injured reserve Friday.
Starting nose tackle Jason Ferguson (oblique) missed practice Wednesday and Thursday. He was full go Friday and is listed as questionable for the Bills.
New England Patriots
All of the following did not practice Friday and are listed as doubtful Sunday versus the St. Louis Rams: running backs Sammy Morris (knee) and LaMont Jordan (calf), linebackers Eric Alexander (hamstring) and Shawn Crable (shin) and cornerback Lewis Sanders (hamstring).
Receiver Laveranues Coles, coming back from a concussion, was listed as probable.
Aside from two big injuries suffered Monday night, the New England Patriots are getting healthy in a hurry.
But a few Patriots who were scratched from Monday night's game returned to practice in earnest.
Defensive back Lewis Sanders, who came out of Monday's game with a thigh injury, also was unlimited in practice.
The New England Patriots have upgraded three of their players from doubtful to questionable, but none of them are starters.
Still listed as doubtful for Monday night's game against the Denver Broncos in Gillette Stadium are running backs Laurence Maroney (shoulder) and LaMont Jordan (calf), starting right tackle Nick Kaczur (ankle) and defensive end Jarvis Green (ankle).
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
They are: Running backs Laurence Maroney (shoulder) and LaMont Jordan (calf), starting right tackle Nick Kaczur (ankle), receiver Kelley Washington (ankle) defensive end Jarvis Green (ankle), linebacker Eric Alexander (hamstring) and Jonathan Wilhite (flu).
Pro Bowl left tackle Matt Light remained off the injury list after missing Wednesday's practice with a knee injury. The NFL's "doubtful" designation means there's a 75 percent chance the player will not swuit up.
DAVIE, Fla. -- There's only one way the rest of the AFC East is envious of the Miami Dolphins.
Once again, their injury report is blank.
Even if they can't play, Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk proved dangerous enough in last Sunday's victory over the New York Jets. Also missing from Patriots practice were LB Eric Alexander (calf) and WR Kelly Washington (ankle).
The Jets already have ruled out WR David Clowney (shoulder) and K Mike Nugent (thigh) for Monday night's road game against the San Diego Chargers. Limited in practice were DB David Barrett (shoulder), WR Laveranues Coles (thigh) and CB Justin Miller (foot).