The Vikings announced Monday running back Adrian Peterson, who was deactivated for Sunday’s game against the P

The Vikings announced Monday running back Adrian Peterson, who was deactivated for Sunday’s game against the Patriots because of a domestic incident involving the disciplining of his 4-year-old son, will will fully participate in this week’€™s practices and meetings and is expected to play this Sunday in New Orleans.

The following is the statement from the team:

Today’€™s decision was made after significant thought, discussion and consideration. As evidenced by our decision to deactivate Adrian from yesterday’€™s game, this is clearly a very important issue. On Friday, we felt it was in the best interests of the organization to step back, evaluate the situation, and not rush to judgment given the seriousness of this matter. At that time, we made the decision that we felt was best for the Vikings and all parties involved.

To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child. At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action. This is a difficult path to navigate, and our focus is on doing the right thing. Currently we believe we are at a juncture where the most appropriate next step is to allow the judicial process to move forward.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and support Adrian’€™s fulfillment of his legal responsibilities throughout this process.

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Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Rookie quarterback Derek Carr is at the controls in Oakland. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Rookie quarterback Derek Carr is at the controls in Oakland. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Here are five things you have to know about the Patriots next opponent, the Oakland Raiders, who will help New England open up its home portion of the schedule Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium:

They are a bit of a mess.

The Raiders are old (they are the oldest team in the league, on average) and slow and lacking depth on both sides of the ball. Their defense cannot get off the field on third down (teams are converting at a rate of 52 percent) and is allowing an average of 200 rushing yards per game. Their offense has yet to score a meaningful touchdown (they have one touchdown outside of fourth-quarter garbage time) and have been outscored by a combined margin of 40-7 over their first two games. In addition, the offense cannot sustain drives (their average time of possession through the first two games is just over 23 minutes, and they are converting on third down at a rate of 24 percent). It’€™s no surprise they’€™re one of three 0-2 teams left in the AFC, and no surprise that head coach Dennis Allen is likely coaching for his job over the next few weeks.

“€œWe suck,”€ Oakland’€™s veteran safety Charles Woodson said after Sunday’€™s 30-14 loss to the Texans. “œThat’€™s as blunt as I can put it.”

Things don’€™t figure to get much easier for them this week for a few reasons, including the fact that they’€™re a West Coast team coming east to play a one o’€™clock game. That rarely ends well for a visiting team. It’€™s going to be a long season for the Raiders, who have to travel a league-leading 36,078 miles this year.

Rookie quarterback Derek Carr is a bit of an unknown who has shown some promise.

While the Raiders are a mess, rookie quarterback Derek Carr is an intriguing prospect who has shown some positive signs over the course of the first two weeks of the season. The 6-foot-3, 214-pounder, taken in the second round out of Fresno State this past spring, supplanted veteran Matt Schaub for the starting role over the course of the summer, and the rookie is 47-for-74 (64 percent) for 414 yards, with three touchdowns and two picks to this point in the season. That includes a relatively respectable 27-for-42 for 263 yards, one touchdown and two picks in Sunday’€™s loss to the Texans. He did have 58 rushing yards on Sunday against Houston, and has shown an ability as a collegian to take off and make plays happen with his legs when things start to break down.

Despite having a pair of relatively well-known running backs, they don’€™t get much of anything on the ground.

With 57 rushing yards in two games, Carr is Oakland’€™s leading rusher. That puts him ahead of veterans Darren McFadden (16 carries, 62 yards, 3.3 YPC, 1 TD) and Maurice Jones-Drew (9 carries, 11 yards). Jones-Drew has struggled with a right hand injury, while it’€™s tough to try and figure out if the 27-year-old McFadden has just hit his expiration date, or if he needs a chance of scenery. (He hasn’€™t averaged more than 3.3 yards per carry over the course of a season since 2011.) One intriguing prospect is Latavius Murray, a second-year player out of Central Florida who didn’€™t play last season (a foot injury landed him on injured reserve) but had 23 carries for 94 yards in the preseason. Murray has flashed positively as a kick returner this season, averaging 24.3 yards per return in seven chances — if Jones-Drew continues to have issues with his hand, Murray could get an opportunity against the Patriots.

Despite having some interesting names on defense, they’€™ve been a disappointment.

The Raiders went out and picked up a couple of intriguing veterans over the course of the offseason to try and bulk up on defense, including Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley, but they’€™ve been underwhelming to this point in the season. They also utilized their first-round pick on heralded linebacking prospect Khalil Mack, who has 12 tackles and a pass defensed in their first two games from the outside linebacking spot. Mack has looked impressive and disruptive at times, with Oakland coaches saying he had his best week of practice this past week in the days leading up to the Houston game. But for the most part, the defense has been a disappointment (just read the lead to this story and tell me you don’€™t think Tuck is having regrets), with the low point coming when Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt lined up as a tight end and caught a pass in Houston’€™s win over Oakland on Sunday.

“Obviously, we don’€™t have any time to sulk, because we have New England coming up and we’€™re out there,”€ Tuck said of the prospect of gong from facing the Texans to the Patriots. “€œEveryone knows what kind of team they’€™ve got and how prepared they’€™ll be. We have to fix this and get it figured out quickly.”

They don’€™t get flagged for a lot of penalties.

Maybe the one nice thing you could say about them is the fact that they really haven’€™t gotten flagged for a lot of penalties over the first two games. Not counting calls that have been declined or offset, the Raiders have been hit with nine penalties for 44 yards to this point on the season. By way of comparison, New England has been hit with 24 penalties for 263 yards.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Tom Brady joined the show to discuss the week two win.

Coming off the Patriots’ first victory of the young season, quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan to discuss the game and address the recent NFL controversies.

Coming off the Patriots’ first victory of the young season, quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan to discuss the game and address the recent NFL controversies. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The big news in the NFL this past week was the controversies surrounding Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, both of whom are out indefinitely due to domestic abuse issues. Brady declined to offer his take on either matter.

“I try to stay in my lane. All of those things, none of it’s really my business or my control,” he said. “I’ve just been focusing on the games and what I can do better. The things that are taking place on other teams or league-wide decisions, those are a different pay grade than me.”

Pressed to offer an opinion, Brady said: “I certainly have a lot of personal feelings toward all those things, but it’s just, there’s nothing I can do. If I make a comment about it, there’s nothing I can do to make a difference. The owners of the league, the commissioner of the league, the teams themselves, the players that are involved, they’re the ones that are speaking on it. It’s not really my responsibility to speak out about those things, because there’s a lot of other people doing the talking.

“I really don’t want to be involved in any of those things. I try to live and make the best decisions possible on and off the field and represent our organization and represent my family as best I can. Those things are happening. I just don’t want my name mentioned in any of those situations that are happening.”

Brady completed 15-of-22 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions Sunday, but he did not appear pleased after the 30-7 victory over the Peterson-less Vikings.

“I wasn’t unhappy. I was very happy we won,” he said. “I thought the defense played awesome. Special teams made some huge plays for us. Offensively I thought in the first half we did some real good, positive things. I just wish our execution overall would be a little bit better. That’s what we’ll work on this week, and we’ll try to make some improvements where we can, then hopefully we just continue to get better as we go.”

The offensive line had a much better day after struggling in the opening loss to the Dolphins.

“It was a good physical effort. We talk about playing physical and running the ball, stopping the run and covering kicks, and we definitely did all those yesterday. You need to be a physical team to win for four months in the NFL. Being a one-dimensional team or a finesse team only takes you so far. So we talked a lot about being physical, being mentally and physical tough. All those guys up front really stepped up to the challenge.”

One of the issues the Patriots had Sunday was with penalties, as they were flagged 15 times.

“The penalties, they just kill drives. We don’t want to be one of the most-penalized teams in the league,” Brady said. “I think that’s a great recipe for how to lose games — turnovers, penalties, missed opportunities. We’ve got to do a better job with the penalties. I thought obviously not turning the ball over on the road was good, and the defense made all those big plays, which allowed us a lot of short fields and more opportunity really than we took advantage of.

“We’ve just got to be able to score more points. When we have opportunities to get the ball in the end zone and convert short yardage, we’ve got to do it. But it was a good win for our team, especially getting one on the road. Now we’re back home for our home opener this coming weekend, which will be a lot of fun.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

On why Danny Amendola has not been a factor in the first two games: “We’ve just got to find ways to get everybody the ball and spread it around to different guys. We spread it around a little bit yesterday. He didn’t get the ball as much as obviously as I would like to get it to him. Brandon LaFell, the same thing. Aaron Dobson had one catch to start the game and didn’t get a lot of other looks after that. We’ve got to get the ball to everybody and spread it around to everybody. Those guys are all good with the ball in their hands, so we’ve got to find ways to do a better job of of finding everybody. That’s what makes an offense tough to defend, when you can spread it around to everybody. Danny’s done a great job and he’s working his butt off to get open. It’s up to me to find ways to get him the ball.”

On if he’s concerned that the Patriots might overlook the lowly Raiders, who visit Foxboro next Sunday: “That’s really the furthest thing from my mind. They’ve got some great players on defense. Charles Woodson, someone that I’ve played against for a long time. Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown, Tyvon Branch is a really good player. Khalil Mack’s a rookie. They’ve got some big guys up front that are good pass-rushers. LaMarr Woodley‘s over there, Justin Tuck‘s over there. There’s no shortage of great players on defense. I think our offense has its work cut out for us, and we’re going to have to continue to play better than the way we’ve played the first few weeks. There’s a lot of room for improvement, certainly in the pass game we need to do a much better job. Hopefully we can make some improvements this week and go have a great game against a defense — I know they’re 0-2, but they’ve got a lot of great players on that defense.”


Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday to discuss the ongoing Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson

Former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday to discuss the ongoing Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson sagas. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Rice was suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a video was released last week of him punching his then-fiancee in an elevator in Atlantic City in February. Later in the week, Peterson was deactivated by the Vikings because he beat his son with a tree branch. Many have wondered whether Peterson will play in the NFL again.

“It probably depends on what happens in terms of this thing getting played a little bit further,” Hasselbeck said. “Ray Rice‘s situation was just a reaction to public outcry, where this situation it appears to be very disturbing. In some way, I don’t think there’s any gray area in this situation, there seems to be a lot of talk about discipline vs. abuse by some people, which I don’t think is applicable here. But some people seem to be having that conversation, and because of that, there is a shot, depending how this plays out, he end does end up playing somewhere else.”

Continued Hasselbeck: “If it were me, I’d cut [Peterson]. And I know that people that are trying to discuss discipline vs. abuse. … From what I’ve seen I don’t think there’s a question about this stuff. Hitting the kid to the point where you’re breaking skin and he’s bleeding, it makes me sick thinking about it. I don’t what the league is going to do. I tell you what I’d do: I would move on and what be done with it. I think somebody needs to show leadership and do the right thing.”

The hosts wondered if crazy and troubled players from poor upbringings are just part of the everyday life of an NFL locker room.

“I don’t think there’s any question when you’re on a team with 53 guys, and people come from all different types of backgrounds and cultures, that you get a wide range of people,” Hasselbeck said. “I certainly was on teams where I thought, ‘That guy’s just a bad dude, he’s not a good guy.’ Probably every team I was on there was somebody I felt that way about. I can’t say I ever knew about somebody beating up their girlfriend or wife or knew about anybody doing something to one of their kids. But I definitely saw guys that I thought I wouldn’t turn my back one bit because you can’t trust them.

“But with that being said, I know all kinds of players that came from unimaginable backgrounds that turned out to be unbelievable teammates, trustworthy, honest, courageous men, that they were absolutely incredible. … Somebody’s upbringing isn’t always an excuse for behavior as an adult.”

While the media has covered just about every update in the Rice and Peterson situations, Hasselbeck noted that the league and press turned a blind eye on previous incidents.

“Did anybody in 2000 talk about Corey Dillon and his domestic assault case, and then a couple of years later playing for the New England Patriots, helping them win a Super Bowl?” Hasselbeck said. “Did anybody talk about it? Did anybody talk about Dominic Rhodes helping the Indianapolis Colts win a Super Bowl? No one’s cared. No one has cared about players beating up women. They just haven’t.”

Hasselbeck also said that Rice’s situation led to much harsher feelings toward Peterson.

“There’s no question that the [Rice incident] is a major wakeup call to the NFL in terms of how you handle these situations where you have players with violent acts that in many cases are crimes,” Hasselbeck said. “The light has been shown on this stuff.”

Continued Hasselbeck: “If teams decide that [Rice's] act was so gross that they cannot have him on their football team, I’m fine with that. I have no issue with that whatsoever. But the same standard should apply everywhere. If that’s the case, then there’s a bunch of other guys that need to be off rosters immediately.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

On Robert Griffin’s ankle injury and his NFL career: “From what I’ve heard, a dislocated ankle means you’re done for the year. So you’re talking about a lost season for a guy that really needs the work in terms of passing in the pocket. If you can’t stay healthy, you can’t be trusted as a quarterback. And the fact that he’s not developing because of these injuries, I have major question marks whether or not he’s a starter going forward.”

On the Browns’ victory over the Saints on Sunday: Brian Hoyer is playing looking over his shoulder, so for them to put a win like that together coming from behind against the Saints was impressive.”

On Boston College‘s win over USC: “In terms of what [BC] should be, or has the potential to be, that [win] was great, especially considering all the emotion this weekend with the red bandana stuff. BC did a real nice job. Certainly those players responded well. It was awesome.”

Blog Author: 
Andrew Battifarano

Julian Edelman has emerged as the leading receiver for the Patriots. (Elsa/Getty Images)In the end, football is a business of production, so let’s consider some bottom-line numbers.

The absence of Adrian Peterson on Sunday brought out the worst in the Vikings.</p>
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