FOXBORO — The Patriots will host the Bills Sunday afternoon in their regular-season finale at Gillette Stadium and will already be without two players.

Alfonzo Dennard

Alfonzo Dennard

FOXBORO — The Patriots will host the Bills Sunday afternoon in their regular-season finale at Gillette Stadium and will already be without two players.

After missing Friday’s practice, running back Jonas Gray (ankle) has been ruled out for Sunday’s game, as has cornerback Alfonzo Dennard. Dennard didn’t appear on the injury report until today as he was limited in practice with a hamstring injury.

In addition to those two players, 15 players are questionable. Sebastian Vollmer appeared on the injury report for the first time this week with a back injury. He was limited in practice and questionable for the game. Julian Edelman (concussion/thigh), LeGarrette Blount (shoulder), Kyle Arrington (hamstring) and Dan Connolly (knee), who all missed the game last week were limited all week and are listed as being questionable.

Tom Brady (ankle) was a full participant in practice all week and is listed as probable.

Here is the complete injury report:

Out

CB Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), limited
RB Jonas Gray (ankle), did not practice

Questionable

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

Probable

QB Tom Brady (ankle), full participation

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Kyle Arrington of the New England Patriots joins Butch Stearns and DJ Bean to talk about this weekend's match-up at home against the Buffalo Bills

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FOXBORO — Defensive end/outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich will be seeing a familiar face on the other side of the ball when lining up Sunday against the Bills and quarterback Kyle Orton. Orton was the quarterback during Ninkovich’s time at Purdue and he even caught two touchdown passes from the 32-year-old.

“Yeah, an old teammate,” Ninkovich said Friday. “Again, he’s a good quarterback. We go back a long ways, caught a couple of touchdown passes from him. I’m sure I will enjoy going after him a little bit.”

When the Patriots played the Bills on Oct. 12, Orton had just replaced starting quarterback E.J. Manuel. With more than two months under his belt working with the Bills’ offense, it’s a much different offense than it was in their prior meeting. In 11 games as the Bills quarterback, Orton is 271-for-424 for 2,842 yards with 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

“We saw him, again he was early in his progression, he first got there and now he is the starting quarterback,” said Ninkovich. “He’s had a bunch of time with the wide receivers and just the timing of everything so again, the more time a quarterback can spend with his receivers and his running backs and tight ends especially, they can get a feel for what he wants and again, he’s a good quarterback and can make a lot of great throws. They’ve done some good things on offense with him in there.”

Even with Sunday’s game essentially meaningless, as the Patriots have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC, Ninkovich is still focused on the game at hand and not looking past the game, especially facing the Bills, a tough division team looking to improve to 9-7 on the year.

“For me I enjoy it,” said Ninkovich. “It’s a division game. Buffalo always plays us tough. They are a good football team. They have weapons everywhere — I mean running backs, tight ends, quarterback, receivers, they have a lot of good football players on that team so it is going to be another challenge for us and it is another challenge in the NFL. That is what I am here to do. I am here to play football and I am excited to play Buffalo at home.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

ESPN’s Adam Schefter checked in with Middays with MFB on Friday to talk about Patriots and NFL news heading into the final Sunday of the regular season. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

ESPN’s Adam Schefter checked in with Middays with MFB on Friday to talk about Patriots and NFL news heading into the final Sunday of the regular season. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Asked which team the Patriots would least want to face in their first playoff game, Schefter said it’s more about the Patriots than the team they’re playing.

“It’s really about them, not about the opponent. If they’re going to play the way that they have, I don’t think anybody’s going to beat them in Foxboro if they play their brand of football,” Schefter said. “But what team is most likely to take them out of that realm? I think we’ve seen the Ravens do that before. I don’t know if the Ravens are going to make the playoffs at all. Obviously they’re on the outside looking in right now. It’s going to be tough. But a lot of funky things can happen.”

Darrelle Revis‘ future in New England is uncertain, as he signed a two-year deal last offseason that is backloaded, leaving the team in a situation where it’s unlikely to keep him on that pact.

“I think the Revis story is still playing out,” Schefter said. “Darrelle Revis has been a great player for a long time. I’ve always look at him as a businessman — that he’s going to go where the best deal is. If the best deal is in New England, then fine. Does he like it there enough? If they win a Super Bowl, where he gets a Super Bowl on his resume, and he says, ‘Now I can just go for the best deal truly.’ Or is it worth it to compromise a little bit there to continue playing on in New England where you’ve got a shot to win the Super Bowl? That’s possible, too. The Darrelle Revis story obviously has yet to be written. I think he’d be open to going back to New England. But when I think of Darrelle Revis I think business first, always.”

Added Schefter: “The circumstances were such last year that it just played perfectly for both sides. And I’m sure that they both would like to be together next year in a perfect world. But again, we’ll see how Darrelle approaches that and what his thoughts are there. I’m sure he’s been very happy playing there this year, but again, it’s going to come down to money.”

Looking around the league, Schefter said that the Lions-Packers game that will decide the NFC North winner is the most intriguing game of the weekend.

“The fact that the Lions have not won in Green Bay since 1992 — 23 straight games, 22 regular season, one in the postseason, I mean, really, it’s hard to imagine that,” Schefter said, adding: “It’s the longest streak in NFL history, longest losing streak of one team to another in NFL history. You don’t see that. It’s very unusual.

“At some point the Lions are going to snap it, and I think they’re good enough to do it this weekend. But to go into Green Bay and win there now is a tall, tall order.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

FOXBORO — Running back Jonas Gray was the lone Patriots player not spotted at the start of practice Friday afternoon held on the lower grass field behind Gillette Stadium.

Jonas Gray

Jonas Gray

FOXBORO — Running back Jonas Gray was the lone Patriots player not spotted at the start of practice Friday afternoon held on the lower grass field behind Gillette Stadium.

This wasn’t the only Friday practice Gray has missed this year, but this time might be different as the running back has been on the injury report with an ankle injury he suffered in the first half of Sunday’s win in New York.

Gray has been listed as limited in practice this week. He left Sunday’s game, but did return, although was very limited and Brandon Bolden received the majority of the carries in the fourth quarter.

Stay tuned for the injury report, which will be posted later in the afternoon.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Terry McAulay will work as the referee for Sunday’s Bills-Patriots game at Gillette Stadium, according to FootballZebras.com.

Terry McAulay talks with Phil Simms and Joe Namath prior to last year's Super Bowl. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Terry McAulay talks with Phil Simms and Joe Namath prior to last year’s Super Bowl. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Terry McAulay will work as the referee for Sunday’s Bills-Patriots game at Gillette Stadium, according to FootballZebras.com.

This is McAulay’s first Patriots game of the season, and first since he served as the lead official for a New England-Houston game at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 10, 2012. A veteran official, he’s worked several big games over the last decade-plus, including Super Bowl XLVIII.

Here’s a look at who has worked as the lead official for each New England game this year, and the corresponding penalties for each game, not counting the flags that were offset or declined.

Sept. 7 at Miami: Walt Anderson — 9 penalties, 100 yards (Dolphins — 4 penalties, 26 yards)
Sept. 14 at Minnesota: Tony Corrente — 15 penalties, 163 yards (Vikings — 7 penalties, 58 yards)
Sept. 21 vs. Oakland: Pete Morelli — 6 penalties, 59 yards (Raiders — 6 penalties, 49 yards)
Sept. 29 at Kansas City: John Parry — 3 penalties, 30 yards (Chiefs — 4 penalties, 35 yards)
Oct. 5 vs. Cincinnati: Jerome Boger — 12 penalties, 114 yards (Bengals — 4 penalties, 37 yards)
Oct. 12 at Buffalo: Walt Coleman — 9 penalties, 60 yards (Bills — 8 penalties, 107 yards)
Oct. 16 vs. Jets: Bill Leavy — 9 penalties, 64 yards (Jets — 7 penalties, 70 yards)
Oct. 23 vs. Chicago: Brad Allen — 7 penalties, 38 yards (Bears — 5 penalties, 41 yards)
Nov. 2 vs. Denver: Walt Anderson — 9 penalties, 71 yards (Broncos — 10 penalties, 72 yards)
Nov. 16 at Indy: Pete Morelli — 5 penalties, 53 yards (Colts — 4 penalties, 27 yards)
Nov. 23 vs. Detroit: Tony Corrente — 11 penalties, 89 yards (Lions — 9 penalties, 54 yards)
Nov. 30 at Green Bay: Ed Hochuli — 4 penalties, 25 yards (Packers — 4 penalties, 22 yards)
Dec. 7 at San Diego: Bill Leavy — 6 penalties, 70 yards (Chargers — 8 penalties, 61 yards)
Dec. 14 vs. Miami: Bill Vinovich — 5 penalties, 51 yards (Dolphins — 5 penalties, 35 yards)
Dec. 21 at Jets: Brad Allen — 5 penalties, 38 yards (Jets — 2 penalties, 14 yards)
Dec. 28 vs. Bills: Terry McAulay

For more on McAulay’s work as a referee, check out his page at Pro Football Reference. For more information on this week’s assignments, click through to the always reliable Football Zebras. And for more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price