Patriots safety Patrick Chung joined Mut & Merloni on Friday morning as the Patriots prepare to take on the Jets in Foxboro this Sunday.

Asked about his status for this weekend health-wise, Chung wouldn’t give a definitive answer, although he appeared to acknowledge that he was practicing.

“I’m good, baby, getting ready for practice,” Chung said.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports joined Mut & Merloni for his weekly discussion of the Patriots and NFL news.

Tom Brady has received some criticism after his performance against the Seahawks on Sunday and for his inability to close out games this season. King said the national perception of Brady still is as an elite quarterback.

FOXBORO -- Logan Mankins and Aaron Hernandez returned to practice on Friday inside the Dana Farber Field House behind Gillette Stadium. Mankins and Hernandez both missed Thursday's practice prior to return to Friday's session in shorts and shells indoors.

Mankins (calf/hip) and Hernandez (ankle) both missed Thursday after taking part in Wednesday's walk-through.

FOXBORO -- The Patriots-Jets rivalry isn’t what it used to be.

Even Rex Ryan seems bored by it all.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

BIO | ARCHIVE


 

FOXBORO -- Five players, including tight end Aaron Hernandez, safety Steve Gregory and guard Logan Mankins, did not practice on Thursday for the Patriots. (All three were part of a team walkthrough on Wednesday.) Nine Patriots were listed as limited, including defensive lineman Ron Brace, who showed up on the injury report for the first time this week with a back issue. Here is Thursday's full report: 

 

Did Not Practice

RB Brandon Bolden (knee)

FOXBORO -- Aaron Hernandez, Logan Mankins and Steve Gregory joined running back Brandon Bolden and linebacker Tracy White as missing at the start of Patriots practice on Thursday behind Gillette Stadium.

After conducting just a walk-through on Wednesday, the team returned to a more traditional shells practice on Thursday in the sunny, mild weather.

FOXBORO -- Aaron Hernandez spoke Thursday for the first time since injuring his right ankle on Sept. 16 against the Cardinals and admitted that he initially feared the ankle was broken when Julian Edelman and a Cardinals defender fell on him while he was engaged in a block. As he was lying on the ground, he was hoping that he didn't break the ankle, an injury that would've knocked him out for the season. 

Jets coach Rex Ryan hinted Thursday that with the injuries to Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell, Tim Tebow could see some snaps at running back Sunday against the Patriots.

“That’s a possibility,” Ryan told reporters. “The thing about Tim, with him being a football player. ... By playing quarterback, he knows all the positions. So can you plug him in at running back? Can you plug him in at tight end? I think the answer is yes.

New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace was asked by ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini on Wednesday about the up-tempo offense of the Patriots. 

"It's borderline illegal because sometimes the guys aren't always set when they snap the ball," Pace said. "But it's smart. Why not hurry a team up? I wish we would do it. For a defense, it just puts pressure on you."

The Patriots and Jets have always made personnel moves with one eye on their own roster and another on how a transaction might foul things up for the divisional rivals, particularly when it comes to the New England passing game.