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No changes on Patriots’ injury report Thursday

12.25.14 at 3:58 pm ET
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Even though the Patriots didn’t practice on Christmas, the team still put out an injury report. It is the same as it was on Wednesday, with 15 players limited as a projection if they were to have held practice Thursday.

Here is the complete report as the team gets set for Sunday’s season finale at home against the Bills:

Limited participation

LS Danny Aiken (finger)
CB Kyle Arrington (hamstring)
RB LeGarrette Blount (shoulder)
CB Brandon Browner (groin)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
OL Dan Connolly (ankle)
WR Julian Edelman (thigh/concussion)
OL Cameron Fleming (ankle)
RB Jonas Gray (ankle)
LB Dont’€™€™a Hightower (shoulder)
DE Chandler Jones (hip)
WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder)
DE Rob Ninkovich (heel)
RB Shane Vereen (ankle)
LB Chris White (ankle)

Full participation

QB Tom Brady (ankle)

Read More: Patriots practice report,

Tom Brady sounds happy with the way his Christmas turned out

12.25.14 at 2:54 pm ET
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Tom Brady took to social media again Thursday to express some holiday cheer.

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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players

12.25.14 at 2:32 pm ET
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Every week, we list the Patriots’ “offensive touches,” a running tally of which one of the offensive skill position players is getting the most looks. Like our weekly look at targets, it can occasionally be an inexact stat, but it remains a good barometer of how confident the coaches (and quarterback) are when it comes to the skill position players at their disposal. Here’s a breakdown of the 2014 New England offense after 15 games:

RB Shane Vereen: 143 (94 carries, 49 catches) 3 negative catches, 7 negative runs
WR Julian Edelman: 102 (10 carries, 92 catches)
RB Stevan Ridley: 98 (94 carries, 4 catches), 8 negative runs
RB Jonas Gray: 91 (90 carries, 1 catch), 3 negative runs
TE Rob Gronkowski: 82 (82 catches), 1 negative catch
WR Brandon LaFell: 70 (70 catches)
RB LeGarrette Blount: 54 (50 carries, 4 catches), 7 negative runs
QB Tom Brady: 34 (34 carries), 20 sacks, 11 kneeldowns
TE Tim Wright: 26 (1 carry, 25 catches), 6 negative rush
RB Brandon Bolden: 25 (24 carries, 1 catch), 3 negative runs
WR Danny Amendola: 23 (23 catches), 1 negative catch
RB James White: 12 (9 carries, 3 catches)
FB James Develin: 7 (1 carry, 6 catches)
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 6 (6 catches)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 6 (6 carries) 2 sacks, 6 kneeldowns
WR Aaron Dobson: 3 (3 catches)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 3 (3 catches)
WR Brian Tyms: 1 (1 catch)

Notes: Not including the season-high four kneeldowns from Brady, the Patriots had six negative plays from scrimmage on Sunday against the Jets — four sacks of Brady and two negative runs from Gray. … On the season, New England has run 1,011 plays from scrimmage, and 57 of them have gone for negative yardage (6 percent), not including kneeldowns. … Against the Jets, the Patriots ran 63 plays, with 28 of them in shotgun (44 percent). … In addition, the game-book lists them as having run zero plays in no huddle. … Against the Jets, New England passed the 1,000-play mark for the 2014 season — the Patriots 1,000th offensive play from scrimmage on the season came in the fourth quarter on Brady’s fourth-quarter interception. (A ball intended for LaFell was tipped, and cornerback Marcus Williams came away with the pick.) … Talk about saving your best for last — against New York, the Patriots longest play from scrimmage was the key fourth-quarter pickup from Bolden where the running back was able to reach the sticks and get 17 big yards on a 3rd and one. … On the season, the Patriots have run 72 of their 1,011 plays out of no-huddle (7 percent) and 386 snaps in shotgun (38 percent). … By way of comparison, over the course of the 2013 regular season, the Patriots were in shotgun for 42 percent of their offensive snaps and they ran no-huddle on 11 percent of their snaps. … We’ve been following Vereen’s quest for 50 catches and 50 carries, and at this point, he’s only one of five backs with at least 90 carries and 49 catches. If he gets to the 50-50 mark, he’d be the first New England running back to do it since Kevin Faulk had 83 carries and 58 catches in 2008. … One other note: Edelman has 10 rushing attempts on the season, and is nearing a franchise record — the franchise mark for most carries by a wide receiver in a single season is Troy Brown, who had 11 in 2001.

Read More: offensive opportunities,

Merry Christmas from Tom Brady

12.25.14 at 12:59 pm ET
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Via his wife’s Instagram account, here’s a Christmas picture of quarterback Tom Brady.

All I want for Christmas … ‘¤ï¸’¤ï¸’¤ï¸’¤ï¸ Tudo que eu quero no Natal …

A photo posted by Gisele Bündchen (@giseleofficial) on

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No matter what Bill Belichick, Tom Brady say, Patriots have historically dominated Bills

12.25.14 at 12:00 pm ET
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FOXBORO — No matter what is said this week praising the Bills and how much of a threat they could pose Sunday, historically Tom Brady and the Patriots have dominated the Bills.

For starters, the Patriots have 67 wins against the Bills, the most against any other opponent in the NFL. In their last 28 games against the Bills, the Patriots are 26-2, and furthermore the Patriots have won 13 straight home games against the Bills, including a perfect 12-0 at Gillette Stadium.

“It will be a big challenge for us there Sunday all the way across the board,” Bill Belichick said Tuesday. “Obviously, they beat the Jets handily in both games, beat Green Bay, played very competitively in the Denver game on the road a few weeks back. Good football team, well coached, tough, physical. We had our hands full with them up there and I’€™m sure we will on Sunday, too.”

Brady had his best game statistically of the season Oct. 12 in Buffalo when he was 27-for-37 with 361 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. The 361 yards were a season-high, and the four touchdowns were second to his five touchdown game against the Bears.

Overall, Brady is 23-2 against the Bills and the 23 wins are tied for the second-most wins by a quarterback against an opponent — Brett Favre has 26 wins against the Lions.

“They’€™ve got a great defense. They challenge you,” Brady said of the Bills. “They’€™ve got good coverage. They’€™ve got 50 sacks, 30 turnovers. So, when you get two a game sacking the quarterback that means you’€™re forcing them into long-yardage situations and punting. So, between the turnovers and the punts, you just don’€™t score many points. They really have a lot of good players at every level of the defense, a very mentally and physically tough team. We’€™re going to have to match that, we’€™re going to have to bring our own intensity, bring some emotion and try to go out there and execute really well.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Buffalo Bills, Tom Brady,

Vince Wilfork following Achilles injury: ‘I worked my tail off just to get back and play football like I normally play’

12.25.14 at 8:00 am ET
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Vince Wilfork has made a few big plays this season, including an interception against Oakland and a blocked field goal against the Jets. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Vince Wilfork has made a few big plays this season, including an interception against Oakland and a blocked field goal against the Jets. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — It’s been a special season for Vince Wilfork.

Wilfork has been dominant on the field, as the nose tackle has 46 tackles and has been incredibly durable. The 33-year-old in his 11th season in the league has played 780 of a possible 1,051 snaps (74 percent), per Pro Football Focus.

The 74 percent is important as he will make a $1.25 million bonus for playing in 70 percent of the team’€™s defensive snaps, and another $500,000 if he plays 70 percent of the snaps and the Patriots finish in the top 10 in points allowed.

The Patriots are currently eighth in the NFL in points allowed per game at 19.7. The Bengals and Browns are tied for ninth at 21.1.

“Every season means a lot to me,” Wilfork said. “Just another, playing sports in general, playing football in general, the passion I have for the game it means a lot. Being where I came from, especially last year, just to be back out there with the guys and my teammates, to play and win ballgames. I think that is the key. The key is winning and winning makes a lot of things easier.”

This season has even more meaning to Wilfork as he missed most of last season with an Achilles injury suffered in Week 4 and had to work extremely hard in the offseason to get ready to return for this year.

“I worked my tail off just to get back and play football like I normally play,” Wilfork said. “I never take nothing for granted. I’ll tell you that. It’s fun to come and work with the guys I have in this locker room. Devin [McCourty] has been with me sometimes in the offseason so he’s seen some of the things I did and how important it was to me to get back and play with these guys, especially the level we’ve been playing at. I’m very thankful.”

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Read More: Darrelle Revis, Vince Wilfork,

Jonas Gray, Jamie Collins, Brandon Browner among 15 limited in Patriots practice

12.24.14 at 4:02 pm ET
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Jonas Gray

Jonas Gray

FOXBORO — The Patriots rung in Christmas Eve with a full-padded practice on the Gillette Stadium game field in preparation for Sunday’s season finale against the Bills. The Patriots have wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the AFC and will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Although every player practiced, 15 players were limited including a few new players. Jonas Gray (ankle) was limited after leaving Sunday’s game and then returning, while Brandon Browner has been added with a groin injury, as has Jamie Collins with a hip injury.

After missing last week’s game, Julian Edelman (thigh/concussion), Kyle Arrington (hamstring), Dan Connolly (knee) and LeGarrette Blount (shoulder) all remained limited in practice.

Tom Brady (ankle) was a full participant.

Here is a complete practice report:

Limited participation

LS Danny Aiken (finger)
CB Kyle Arrington (hamstring)
RB LeGarrette Blount (shoulder)
CB Brandon Browner (groin)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
OL Dan Connolly (ankle)
WR Julian Edelman (thigh/concussion)
OL Cameron Fleming (ankle)
RB Jonas Gray (ankle)
LB Dont’€™a Hightower (shoulder)
DE Chandler Jones (hip)
WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder)
DE Rob Ninkovich (heel)
RB Shane Vereen (ankle)
LB Chris White (ankle)

Full participation

QB Tom Brady (ankle)

Read More: Patriots practice report,
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