FOXBORO -- Rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes was again missing from Patriots practice on Friday as the team held its final outdoor practice on a cold and blustery Gillette Stadium field in sweats and shells.

 

Spikes also missed Thursday's practice and the team said the absence was "not injury" related. Safety Patrick Chung returned to practice on Friday after also missing with a non-injury related issue. Also missing Friday were defensive linemen Mike Wright and Myron Pryor and defensive back Jonathan Wilhite. 

 

FOXBORO -- In an effort to bolster depth in their defensive backfield, Patriots coach Bill Belichick confirmed Friday morning before practice that they've brought in defensive back Chevis Jackson. Belichick said they would have a move "later on" Friday. Cornerback Jonathan Wilhite has been battling a hip injury for several weeks and was again missing from practice on Friday. 

 

Patriots owner Robert Kraft joined Dennis & Callahan to talk about the present, and future, of the team as well as the future of the league as it heads into an uncertain labor situation. Kraft likes where his 10-2 team is now, but he is also optimistic about the future as the Pats own potentially five of the top 75 picks in next year's draft and three of the top 33 (their own, plus the Raiders first rounder and the Panthers second round pick).

 

Speaking on his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show, ESPN's Adam Schefter said that he is picking the Bears in their matchup with the Patriots Sunday. It is the third time Schefter has picked against the Pats, with the other two occasions (Jets, Browns) resulting in New England losses.

 

FOXBORO — Through 12 games, this year’s Patriots have 18 interceptions.



The Bears reported two players missing from Thursday practice, linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa and defensive tackle Marcus Harrison. Here's the complete report from Chicago:

Did Not Participate
LB Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee)
DT Marcus Harrison (illness)

Limited Participation
LB Nick Roach (back)
RB Chester Taylor (knee)

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

FOXBORO — Safety Patrick Chung and linebacker Brandon Spikes were no-shows at Patriots' practice on Thursday, but according to the team, their absence was not injury related. Here's a look at the complete report:

Did Not Participate
S Patrick Chung (not injury related)
LB Brandon Spikes (not injury related)
CB Jonathan Wilhite (hip)
DL Mike Wright (concussion)

Limited Participation
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder/foot)
NT Myron Pryor (back)

FOXBORO -- Safety Patrick Chung and rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes lead a list of five Patriots missing from outdoor practice on Thursday outside Gillette Stadium. Neither player was listed on Wednesday's injury report. 

 

Also missing were Jonathan Wilhite (hip), Myron Pryor (back) and Mike Wright (concussion) as the Patriots worked out in sweats and shells on the lower practice field in bitterly cold conditions, similar to the 15-degree temperatures expected for the late-afternoon kick-off on Sunday at Soldier Field.  

 

Mailbag time and the folks are enjoying the victory lap. 

Lots and lots of Rex Ryan bashing this week and this'll be a Pats-heavy 'bag as usual, but let me be the first (OK, maybe not the first) to ask: 



KIRK MINIHANE

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FOXBORO — When free agency rolled around last spring, defensive end Julius Peppers was at the top of just about everyone’s wish list. He had just finished up eight seasons with the Panthers where he had 81 sacks, including 14.5 in 2008.