Cleaning out the Patriots notebook

October, 18, 2012
10/18/12
8:00
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Cleaning out the Patriots' notebook with some quick-hit thoughts:

1. The one name I was looking for on the team's initial injury report of the week was defensive back Sterling Moore. An injury to Moore wasn't announced during Sunday's loss to the Seahawks, and his last play was on punt coverage late in the fourth quarter when he lost containment to contribute to a Leon Washington 25-yard gain that set up the winning score. Moore popped up on the injury report (knee) and was limited Wednesday. With Steve Gregory, Patrick Chung and Moore all sidelined, that explains why the Patriots had to turn to rookie Nate Ebner at safety for the final drive. If Gregory, Chung and Moore are all sidelined this week, it could be time to consider a Devin McCourty move to safety. Or maybe even Ras-I Dowling.

2. It was notable that receiver Brandon Lloyd and special teams captain Matthew Slater weren't on the injury report. Both were banged up late in Sunday's loss.

3. Bill Belichick dialed things back Wednesday by holding a walk-through practice instead of a regular-tempo session. After the long trip to Seattle and a game in which the Patriots were banged around a bit, it seemed like a smart decision to give players one more day to recover.

4. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is obviously hurting and CBS camera operators did a fine job capturing this on the final play of the first quarter Sunday when Gronkowski took a hard hit to his back area. There was a big grimace from Gronkowski. Gronkowski doesn't seem as dominant this year as he was last year, but his pass-catching stats aren't far off. Through six games last season, he had 29 catches for 401 yards and 5 touchdowns. Through six games this season, it's 29 catches for 356 yards and 3 touchdowns.

5. Left tackle Nate Solder, who had some tough 1-on-1 battles with Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons on Sunday, was hard on himself. "I didn't think I played up to the way I wanted to play," he said Wednesday, before turning his focus toward the Jets.

6. The injury status of Jets kickoff returner Joe McKnight (high ankle sprain) bears watching. McKnight is reportedly unlikely to play and he has big-play capability, with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown already this season. Antonio Cromartie is a candidate to step into that role.

7. Receiver Deion Branch on if it will be nice to go up against the Jets without injured cornerback Darrelle Revis: "We all enjoy the competition. It's sad that he's down. We never hope for bad for anyone, especially in this game that we're playing. I'm pretty sure he'll bounce back and be OK."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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