The Patriots have activated Ron Brace from the physically unable to perform list and placed him on their 53-man active roster.

The second-round draft pick in 2009 out of Boston College has played in only 22 games over the last two and a half seasons and was placed on the PUP list coming out of training camp. He played in 13 games last season, starting five, and recorded 28 tackles.

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

 

Here are 10 matchups to keep an eye on in Sunday’s game between the Patriots and the Giants at Gillette Stadium:



The NFL did not levy a fine for the hit and tackle last Sunday by Troy Polamalu that left Wes Welker with a strained neck, forcing him to miss practice time this week and leaving him questionable for this Sunday against the Giants.

FOXBORO -- Wide receiver Wes Welker and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth have been listed as questionable by the Patriots for this Sunday's game against the Giants. Welker strained his neck after being tackled hard by Troy Polomalu in the fourth quarter Sunday in Pittsburgh while Haynesworth continues to nurse a sore back. Both Welker and Haynesworth were limited in practice on Thursday and Friday. 

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick had no recollection Friday of a reported allegation that he paid practice squad players to start fights in practice during his time as head coach of the Browns.

Former Patriots, Seahawks and Cowboys defensive lineman Chad Eaton, in Thursday's Dayton Daily News, said Belichick paid him to start fights in practice when he was a member of the Browns’ practice squad in 1995. 

"I don't remember that," Belichick told a pool reporter following his weekly Friday press conference.

FOXBORO -- The Patriots practiced in sweats and shells on the upper grass fields and all players were present except linebacker Dane Fletcher and offensive lineman Donald Thomas. 

Fletcher is rehabbing a thumb injury while Thomas was expecting the birth of his child on Friday. Fletcher hasn't practiced since before the bye and missed his first game of the season last week in Pittsburgh. 

Wes Welker, who is nursing a sore neck after a hit late in the game on Sunday, was on the practice field for a second straight day after missing Wednesday.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated joined Mut & Merloni Friday, discussing the Patriots secondary and Bill Belichick's recent history of drafting. 

The Patriots have placed a great amount of emphasis on cornerbacks in the last four years, and while King said he understands why, he noted that a reason the Patriots defense is not as strong is because the team has not invested enough draft picks in front-seven players.

NFL Network's Mike Lombardi joined the Dennis & Callahan show Friday for his weekly analysis of the Patriots and the NFL.

Looking at Sunday's Patriots-Giants matchup, Lombardi said he expects the Patriots offense to return to form against a Giants defense that struggles against the ground game.

Throughout the first seven games of the season, the Patriots remain one of the best offenses in the league.



Tom Coughlin didn’t want to talk about it. Bill Belichick didn’t, either.



PAUL FLANNERY

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