FOXBORO -- The linebacker trio of Dane Fletcher, Jeff Tarpinian and Brandon Spikes were the only three players not spotted at Patriots practice indoors Wednesday at the Dana Farber Field House. 

Fletcher has missed the last four games with a thumb injury while Tarpinian missed Monday's game after turning up sick late last week. Brandon Spikes injured his knee against the Giants on Nov. 6 and hasn't practiced since reportedly straining the MCL in his right knee. 

During a conference call with New England media, Eagles coach Andy Reid said Michael Vick would not practice on Wednesday, still taking time to heal two broken ribs. Taking Vick's place in practice is Vince Young, who led the Eagles to a 17-10 win over the Giants, keeping their flickering playoff hopes alive. 

"He won't practice," Reid said of Vick. "Just take it day-by-day, see how he does here. Vince will take the reps. See how he's doing [Thursday]. He threw [Tuesday] a little bit and little bit more as we go on here."

Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC made his weekly appearance on the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday to talk about the Patriots and NFL news.

The Patriots head to Philadelphia Sunday to meet the underachieving Eagles, who might be without quarterback Michael Vick. Nursing broken ribs, Vick did not practice Wednesday after throwing some on Tuesday. In Philadelphia's last game, backup Vince Young sparked a victory over the Giants in New York, improving the Eagles' record to 4-6 and keeping their slim postseason hopes alive.

FOXBORO -- The ongoing carousel known as Ross Ventrone's spot on the Patriots resumed Tuesday evening with the report of his release once again from the active roster. 

According to ESPN, the safety, who helped spring Julian Edelman on his 72-yard TD punt return, was released from the roster. This marks the seventh time he has been released this season by the team, including August training camp.

FOXBORO -- Julian Edelman has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his 72-yard punt return for a touchdown in Monday night's 34-3 laugher over the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. 

With the Patriots leading 17-3 in the third quarter, Edelman took a punt at the Patriots 28 and shot up the middle, thanks in part to a key block from Ross Ventrone and outraced punter Dustin Colquitt for his second career punt return for a score. 

Report Card time and a quick word about running up the score in the NFL. 



KIRK MINIHANE

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During his appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday, Tom Brady was asked how he was feeling. There had been a report indicating that he has a bone bruise near the elbow on his right arm and he's been wearing a black band below the elbow, but Brady assured the hosts there was nothing of concern.

It’s gone without saying all season that the Patriots pass defense hasn’t been very good. In fact since they came out of the gate, the Pats have been called the consensus worst defense in the NFL --  32nd in the league against the pass, 32nd in the league overall. 



It won’t be the matchup of the superpowers that some envisioned when the season began, but Sunday’s game between the Patriots and Eagles should be one of the most compelling matchups of the week.



Patriots coach Bill Belichick made his weekly appearance on the Big Show Tuesday, discussing Monday's win over the Chiefs and the team's upcoming meeting with the Eagles. 

With Monday's 34-3 win over Kansas City Monday, Belichick surpassed former boss Bill Parcells and moved into ninth place on the all-time wins list. Belichick, who now has 184 career wins (including postseason) as a head coach, fondly recalled his days of working with Parcells and said he appreciated where he stands historically.