On Saturday night, the Patriots downgraded three additional players to out in advance of Sunday's game against the Bills -- safety Patrick Chung (hand), defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth (back) and wide receiver Taylor Price (hamstring) were officially downgraded to out for Sunday’s game. On Friday's injury report, the team had previously listed tight end Aaron Hernandez (knee), tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back) and defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion) as out.

With safety Patrick Chung out for Sunday's game following surgery on his right thumb this week, safety Ross Ventrone has been signed off the practice squad and onto the Patriots 53-man roster in advance of the team's game in Buffalo.

Here are 10 matchups worth keeping an eye on when the Patriots meet the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday afternoon:



The Patriots announced Friday that they have released tight end Dan Gronkowski. The brother of New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, the 6-foot-5, 255-pounder, was signed by the Patriots on September 7, 2011 and played in the first two games for the Patriots. He is a veteran of two NFL seasons with Detroit (2009) and Denver (2010). Gronkowski originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick (255th overall) of Detroit in 2009 out of Maryland. He was traded by Detroit to Denver on Sept. 4, 2010. He was released by Denver on Sept. 3.

FOXBORO -- The Patriots officially listed tight end Aaron Hernandez (knee), offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back) and defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion) as out for Sunday's game against the Bills in Buffalo. Here's the rest of the Friday afternoon injury report:

Questionable
S Patrick Chung (hand -- limited participation)
CB Ras-I Dowling (hip -- limited participation)
LB Gary Guyton (hamstring -- limited participation)
DT Albert Haynesworth (back -- did not practice)

FOXBORO -- With a cast protecting his right wrist and thumb, Patrick Chung returned to practice on Friday as the Patriots worked out in shorts and shells on the main Gillette Stadium field. 

Chung reportedly had surgery earlier this week to place a pin in his thumb following an injury during Sunday's win over the Chargers. He missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday before returning Friday. 

FOXBORO -- Patriots defensive end Andre Carter was informed Friday that he was fined $15,000 for his hit on Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers on Sunday. 

Carter was flagged 15 yards for roughing the passer for his hit on the first play of San Diego's first drive of the second quarter. Carter hit Rivers as he released the ball but was penalized for what was deemed to be driving the quarterback into the turf.

Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning.

The Patriots are expected to be without injured safety Patrick Chung Sunday when they visit the Bills.

"That happens in a season," McCourty said. "I think we're prepared for him not to be out there. Guys have to step up. He's played a lot of plays early in the season for us. It will be a little different without him. But I'm excited to see guys get that opportunity to step up and play well come Sunday."

A few thoughts on the second half of “Bill Belichick: A Football Life,” just as soon as I figure out how to change the clock on the dashboard of my car ...



FOXBORO -- Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth missed his first practice with the Patriots since Sept. 10, sitting out the Thursday session with what the team referred to as a back injury. However, cornerback Kyle Arrington, who was held out of practice on Wednesday (he was listed as having a concussion) returned to practice in a limited role. Here's the rest of the Patriots injury report for Thursday:

Did Not Practice
S Patrick Chung (hand)
TE Dan Gronkowski (hamstring)
DT Albert Haynesworth (back)
TE Aaron Hernandez (knee)