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Friday, November 23, 2012
Snaps: Fells fills Gronk role

By Mike Reiss

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – A look at snaps played by Patriots offensive skill-position players, while analyzing what it might mean:

QB Tom Brady 67 of 68
WR Wes Welker – 63 of 68
WR Brandon Lloyd – 62 of 68
TE Aaron Hernandez – 57 of 68
TE Daniel Fells – 55 of 68
RB Stevan Ridley – 40 of 68
RB Shane Vereen – 16 of 68
WR Julian Edelman – 16 of 68
RB Danny Woodhead – 13 of 68
WR Matthew Slater – 6 of 68
TE Visanthe Shiancoe – 9 of 68
TE/FB Michael Hoomanawanui – 3 of 68
QB Ryan Mallett – 1 of 68

(Penalties included. No kneel-downs included.)

ANALYSIS: In the absence of TE Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots turned primarily to six-year veteran Daniel Fells, who played a season-high 55 snaps. Fells, who finished with 1 catch for 24 yards, had been a healthy scratch last week. His previous high was 45, against the Bills on Sept. 30. … In his return to action for the first time since Oct. 21, TE Aaron Hernandez was on for 57 of the first 59 snaps before getting a late-game breaker as Visanthe Shiancoe came on. … Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd were the top tandem in 2 WR packages, as Julian Edelman scaled things back after a 52-snap performance vs. Colts. … Stevan Ridley was the clear-cut top back, with Danny Woodhead and Shane Vereen spelling him at times.