Reporting Levan Reid
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BOSTON (CBS) – All was quiet on the Patriots front Friday as they get ready to host the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional round.
The Pats did not practice but held a walk-through at Gillette. They also released their final Practice Participation and Injury Report on Friday with 13 Patriots listed as “Questionable.”
Safety Patrick Chung was added to the list with a knee injury. He apparently tweaked the knee during Thursday’s practice session. Chung was limited by a foot injury on Wednesday but did not appear on the injury list at all on Thursday.
Here is the full list of Patriots deemed “questionable” for the big game:
CB Kyle Arrington (foot)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle)
S Patrick Chung (knee)
C Dan Connolly (groin)
LB Dane Fletcher (thumb)
S James Ihedigbo (shoulder)
G Logan Mankins (knee)
LB Rob Ninkovich (hip)
WR Matthew Slater (shoulder)
LB Brandon Spikes (knee)
OT Sebastian Vollmer (back/foot)
WR Wes Welker (knee)
LB Tracy White (abdomen)
The Pats should get a couple of big boosts both on offense and defense. If Mankins and Vollmer can return, they’ll just provide more protection from Tom Brady against a pretty good Denver pass-rush. On defense, the return of both Brandon Spikes and Patrick Chung should help clog up the middle, and contain the Broncos running game.
As for the Denver Broncos, long snapper Lonie Paxton and receiver Eric Decker have both been ruled “out” for Saturday. Safety Brian Dawkins is “doubtful” with safety David Bruton, defensive end Elvis Dumervil, tight end Daniel Fells and linebacker Von Miller all “probable.”
Mayo Feels Better Prepared
The Patriots did not know what to expect the last time they took on the Broncos. The Denver offense is unlike any in the league. Tebow is a different player and the running attack causes confusion up front. Last time out the Pats defenders said it was hard going from the classroom to the field.
This time, at least one players feels they will be better prepared.
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“To be honest, I feel a little more comfortable this time around,” said Mayo, who tallied eight tackles back in Week 15. “You really don’t know what to expect the first time you see the option offense. Even though the whole offense isn’t the option, there are certain looks that you haven’t seen since college, pretty much.”
Mayo’s understanding speaks high. He is the captain of the defense out there. If he know what’s going on, he can relay all the information to the other players and hopefully everyone will be on the same page. We will see come Saturday night.
Mankins Feeling Better
Patriots All pro guard Logan Mankins, who was sidelined the final game of the season with a sprained MCL, missed practice during the bye week but he has been out there this week. He was asked Thursday whether he felt good enough to go, and Logan was a little bit hesitant.
“It felt good to move around a little bit out there. It’s still day-to-day. We’ll see. No word yet. One day at a time. We’ll see what happens,” said Mankins.
Mankins wears braces on his knees, something that most offensive lineman in this league do. He says if he didn’t have that brace, the injury could have been a lot worse.
Tune in to the Patriots-Broncos playoff game Saturday night at 8pm on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV. Pregame coverage begins Saturday at 5pm with Patriots Preview on 98.5, with a special edition of Patriots GameDay on WBZ-TV at 7pm. After the game, stay tuned for Patriots Postgame on The Hub, and Patriots 5th Quarter on WBZ-TV.