By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV SportsBy Levan Reid

BOSTON (CBS) – For the New England Patriots, the bye week couldn’t come at a better time.

The Pats are lucky to have their bye in the middle of the season, following a hard-fought first eight games of the regular season.

The Patriots practiced on Thursday, but will get the weekend off to enjoy some time away from the game. Some players use their bye week to spend time with family, while others will be hard at work at Gillette. Some of them will be doing both.

Or, take Stevan Ridley, who will be on hand Saturday night for one of college football’s biggest clashes of the season.

“I’ll be down in Baton Rouge, watching the LSU-‘Bama game, of course,” Ridley, an LSU alum, said on Thursday. “I gotta get back and see my boys play and try to get this upset so I can come back and talk a little trash to [Dont’a] Hightower and [Brandon] Deaderick.”

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Other guys are staying put. Linebacker Brandon Spikes will be hanging out with some family, but also getting in his work at the stadium.

His fellow defender Rob Ninkovich plans to do the same, just with a little more sleep in the morning.

“I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stay here, lay around, just kind of relax,” Ninkovich said, before adding he’d also be hitting the weight room. “You come in, get your lifts in; do the same things that you would do every other week. You just have a little bit more time to sleep in the morning so that you don’t have to get up so early and so you don’t have those long, 12-hour days.”

And then there is Tom Brady. He doesn’t have plans yet, because he isn’t the one that makes them (that is up to his wife, of course). But while Brady will get his rest, both mentally and physically, don’t think that means he won’t be ready to go when the Patriots return to practice next week.

“I haven’t quite made any plans,” the Pats QB said. “Get a little rest, stay focused on what we have to do here and try to gear up for a really important next eight games of the year.”

Good to see Brady is focused, and letting someone else do his planning.

Follow Levan Reid on and on Twitter @LevanReid all Patriots’ season long!


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