FOXBORO – Don’t worry, Patriots fans -- the defense won’t matter. I’m here to tell you that the team has learned from the last two years and the playoff losses to the Ravens and Jets.



Here are the 10 matchups we’ll be looking for in Saturday’s game between the Patriots and Dolphins:


FOXBORO -- Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis and new safety Vincent Fuller were among those limited on Thursday, in the team's final full practice as they prepare for the Dolphins Saturday afternoon. Aaron Hernandez returned to full participation Thursday after missing Wednesday with a non-injury related matter and was removed from the injury report. Linebacker Brandon Spikes missed Thursday as the team continues to monitor his right knee.

Danny Woodhead (abdomen) and Ryan Wendell (calf) were also completely removed from the injury report for the first time in several weeks.

FOXBORO -- On an ideal December day at Gillette Stadium, tight end Aaron Hernandez and running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis returned to practice on Thursday as the team continues preparations for the Dolphins Saturday afternoon in Foxboro. Hernandez missed Wednesday's practice with a non-injury related matter while Green-Ellis was execused due to an illness. 

The team practice in sweats and shells on the main stadium field. 

FOXBORO -- In the midst of a record-setting season, the box score will cause you to do a double take.

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had three players miss Wednesday's practice, but the team announced Wednesday afternoon that tight end Aaron Hernandez' absence was not injury related. Here's the complete report:

Did Not Practice
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (illness)
TE Aaron Hernandez (not injury related)
OT Sebastian Vollmer (back/foot)

Limited Participation
CB Kyle Arrington (foot)
WR Deion Branch (groin)
S Patrick Chung (foot)
C Dan Connolly (groin)
WR Julian Edelman (back)

FOXBORO -- Five Patriots finished first at their positions in Pro Bowl fan balloting, it was revealed on Wednesday. Quarterback Tom Brady, wide receiver Wes Welker, tight end Rob Gronkowski, guard Logan Mankins and defensive end Andre Carter were the top vote-getters at their positions.

FOXBORO -- The Patriots filled one of their two roster vacancies on Wednesday when they announced the signing of veteran safety Vincent Fuller.

FOXBORO -- BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Aaron Hernandez joined Sebastian Vollmer as no-shows at Patriots practice inside the Dana Farber Field House on Wednesday, as the team prepares for the Dolphins this Saturday at Gillette Stadium. Vollmer hasn't played since injuring his right foot on Nov. 27 at Philadelphia. 

The team practice in sweats and shells and will practice again on Thursday before going through a walkthrough on Friday. 

For more, visit the Patriots team page at

The Patriots are expected to sign defensive back Vincent Fuller, according to multiple reports. The 6-foot-1, 192-pounder was a fourth-round pick of Tennessee in 2005, and has played in 76 games, making five starts over the course of his career. His best year came in 2009, when he made 34 tackles (27 solo) and had one sack, seven passes defensed and three interceptions with the Titans. He played one game with Detroit this season, but suffered an elbow injury and was placed on injured reserve. Shalise Manza Young of first reported the news.