FOXBORO -- One day after returning to practice from a hip injury, Aaron Hernandez was not spotted at the open portion of Patriots practice Friday outside Gillette Stadium and is listed as questionable. Deion Branch was limited and is also questionable. Also missing were Dan Connolly, Mike Wright and Ron Brace. Meanwhile, Wes Welker was limited but it was not injury related.

 

FOXBORO -- Jerod Mayo acknowledged Thursday that he was informed by the NFL that he would be fined for a hit during the Patriots' 34-3 rout of Buffalo last Sunday. On Friday, the NFL informed him how much but not why.

 

The NFL fined the Patriots Pro Bowl linebacker $10,000 for one of two - or both - second-quarter crushing hits of Bills wide receivers Steve Johnson and Dave Nelson.

 

Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports checked in for his weekly Patriots Friday appearance on the Dale & Holley show with guest hosts Chris Price and Eric Frede.

 

King lauded the Patriots for the turnaround in Foxboro this season, crediting Bill Belichick and director of player personnel Nick Caserio. Said King: "It's an amazing job by this organization. … I think it's a tremendous tribute to Belichick."

 

FOXBORO -- One day after returning to practice from a hip injury, Aaron Hernandez was not spotted at the open portion of Patriots practice Friday outside Gillette Stadium. Also missing were Dan Connolly, Mike Wright and Ron Brace.

 

Hernandez was limited on Thursday while Connolly and Wright have been out with concussions. Brace suffered an elbow injury against the Bills on Sunday and has missed practice all week. The team practice on the lower grass field outside Gillette in very mild, sunny conditions. 

 

Patriots running back Fred Taylor joined guest hosts Chris Price and Eric Frede for his regular appearance on the Dale & Holley show as part of WEEI's Patriots Friday.

 

Taylor was featured in a Boston Globe story this week, and in it he talked about his future in the league after an injury-plagued 2010 season.

 

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady left no doubt that he intends to start and play in the season finale against the Miami Dolphins this Sunday at Gillette Stadium, despite the fact the Patriots have already wrapped up the No. 1 seed and home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

 

"That's the focus of what's really been the trademark of this team, is to always make improvements over the course of the season," Brady said. "I don't think we take weeks off, I don't think we take days off."

 

Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Friday as part of WEEI's Patriots Friday. Joining guest hosts Eric Frede and Chris Price, Mayo talked about Sunday's regular-season finale against the Dolphins as the Patriots prepare to head into the playoffs with a bye week before hosting a conference semifinal.

 

"We're going out there with the mindset to win," Mayo said of Sunday. "We really don't want to head into the playoffs after a loss, so I think everybody that's healthy and able to play will play."

Adam Schefter of ESPN made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Calllahan show Friday morning with guest hosts Bob Ryan and Bob Neumeier to talk about the Patriots and news from the NFL.

 

FOXBORO — This weekend, BenJarvus Green-Ellis could become the unlikeliest 1,000-yard running back in the 50-year history of the Patriots.



The NFL has fined the Jets $100,000 for violating league rules in the tripping incident involving New York strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi, according to multiple reports.