Friday, November 11, 2011
Patrick Chung questionable for Sunday
By Mike Reiss and Mike Rodak
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots starting safety Patrick Chung returned to practice Friday after missing the team's first two sessions of the week with a foot injury and was listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the New York Jets.
Linebackers Brandon Spikes (knee) and Dane Fletcher (thumb), who did not practice Friday, were downgraded to out for Sunday's game.
Also questionable are CB Kyle Arrington (foot), DE Shaun Ellis (ribs), RB Kevin Faulk (knee), RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe), LB Gary Guyton (shoulder), LB Jerod Mayo (knee), WR Taylor Price (hamstring), OT Sebastian Vollmer (back), OL Ryan Wendell (concussion).
Wendell practiced on Friday for the first time this week.
Wes Welker, who participated fully in Friday's practice, was listed as probable for Sunday.
At Friday's practice, coach Bill Belichick stayed close to Chung during stretching, and the two had a brief conversation as Chung appeared to test his foot during the warm-up.
Before practice, Chung spoke about his mindset heading into Sunday night.
"Injuries are a bad thing, being hurt is a different thing, but you have to work to get ready to play the game," he said.
Chung added that he doesn't feel pressure to return, even though the team is thin at safety. He repeated a few times that he's approaching this week as if he'll play.
"Just working, working to play, working to get out there," he said. "You have to have the mentality of playing. ... Even if you're hurt, you have to be mentally there, period. You might be called upon."
Thin in the secondary, the Patriots hosted four free-agent defensive backs for workouts on Friday -- safety Darcel McBath (Broncos) and cornerbacks Anthony Madison (Lions), Robert McClain (Panthers) and Joe Porter (Raiders).
The Patriots' safety corps has been depleted, because of a combination of injuries and personnel decisions made coming out of training camp.
The team also worked out free-agent defensive lineman Jason Parker (first year, University of Arizona) and defensive end/linebacker Diyral Briggs (third year, Bowling Green).
It is common for the Patriots to work players out over the course of the season to keep emergency lists fresh.
Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com. Mike Rodak is a frequent ESPNBoston.com contributor.