Griff Whalen has joined the Patriots. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Griff Whalen has joined the Patriots. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Patriots have reportedly signed wide receiver Griff Whalen.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder out of Stanford — who was the snapper on one of the funniest attempted fakes in recent league history — has been in the league since 2012, and has spent time with Indy and San Diego. He has 47 catches for 509 yards and three touchdowns in his career, with his finest season coming in 2013 when he had 24 receptions for 259 yards and two touchdowns with the Colts.

Whalen also has experience as a punt and kick returner, and averaged 7.2 yards per punt return and 25.3 yards per kick return in 2014.

Whalen will likely take up some of the slack caused after the recent injury to Danny Amendola. Amendola suffered an injury in last week’s win over Los Angeles, but will reportedly be on the shelf for the rest of the regular season.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media was first to report the news.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — The Patriots and some of their key players appear to be getting healthy for the stretch run.

Tom Brady (knee) and Julian Edelman (foot) were both removed from this week’s injury report, which is certainly a good sign moving forward.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

FOXBORO — The Patriots and some of their key players appear to be getting healthy for the stretch run.

Tom Brady (knee) and Julian Edelman (foot) were both removed from this week’s injury report, which is certainly a good sign moving forward.

Danny Amendola (ankle) and Jordan Richards (knee) both missed Thursday’s practice, while four other Patriots players were limited, including rookie Elandon Roberts (hamstring), who played only the opening kickoff against the Rams.

Roberts had a jaw injury listed at the end of last week, but that has been removed.

Also limited were Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder), Eric Rowe (hamstring) and Matthew Slater (foot).

Here is the complete Patriots injury report.

DID NOT PARTICIPATE

WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
S Jordan Richards (knee)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION

TE Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder)
LB Elandon Roberts (hamstring)
CB Eric Rowe (hamstring)
WR Matthew Slater (foot)

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — The Patriots and Ravens will meet Monday night for the first time since they met in the AFC divisional round in 2015.

New England won the game 35-31, but the biggest talker following the game was a few ineligible receiver plays when the Patriots had more receivers on the field that were eligible and made one of them ineligible.

John Harbaugh still seems bothered by the AFC divisional round game in 2015. (Evan Habeeb/USA Today Sports)

John Harbaugh still seems bothered by the AFC divisional round game in 2015. (Evan Habeeb/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — The Patriots and Ravens will meet Monday night for the first time since they met in the AFC divisional round in 2015.

New England won the game 35-31, but the biggest talker following the game was a few ineligible receiver plays when the Patriots had more receivers on the field that were eligible and made one of them ineligible.

This caught the Ravens off-guard and helped the Patriots come back from a 14-point deficit.

After the game Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the plays were “clearly deception” and was upset the Ravens didn’t get a chance to see where the ineligible players were lined up before the snap.

Thursday, on a conference call with the New England media, CSNNE.com’s Tom E. Curran brought up how a few weeks ago the Ravens held every player on the Bengals during a punt play before taking a safety to ensure the game ended before the ensuing free kick.

Curran asked how that play was different than what the Patriots did in the playoffs a few years back.

“Well, that is something — I don’t even want to get into all that,” Harbaugh said. “That’s all been hashed out. As far as that goes, I mean, I believe what I believe and I think that’s all been proven to be right, but the point about that is that’s been talked about. That’s been looked at. That tactic has been used by punt teams for 20 years. It’s nothing new. It’s nothing that hasn’t been addressed before by officials and by the competition committee.

“As a matter in fact, after we did it in the Super Bowl, my brother [Jim Harbaugh] brought it up and I supported him to change it — to extend it on special teams plays and the competition committee and the coaches on the competition committee and Dean [Blandino] didn’t want to look at it back then. They had a chance to change it four years ago. So everyone knew about it and it wasn’t a surprise to anybody, so it didn’t create an unfair advantage for anybody.”

Curran brought up how the Patriots’ play was ran earlier that season by the Titans and also by Nick Saban with Alabama. He also noted Harbaugh’s comments after the game inferred he was discrediting the Patriots’ win.

“Like I said, I don’t want to get into that, and that was not the intent,” he said. “If you go back and read my comments at the time and the tone of it, anybody that takes it that way is taking it the wrong way. That was not the point at all. The point was you had an eligible receiver that wasn’t identified and an ineligible receiver that wasn’t identified as such and the official had no way to identify that for the defense.

“They never addressed it before so there was no signal or any other way to do that and that was something that was addressed the very next week when they put in a method to identify an ineligible number as an eligible player. It’s all technical stuff. If somebody wants to look at it a certain way, that’s not my concern.”

It was then brought to Harbaugh’s attention that the referees announced over the microphone who was ineligible and who wasn’t, which Harbaugh said didn’t matter and there needed to be more.

“That’s not something that had every been gone over,” he said. “Players were never taught don’t cover a player and when you’re on the field you can’t hear that microphone. That’s not something you can hear on the field and not something you’re even listening for. There is a signal. They tap the player on the shoulder. They brush the numbers to say that an ineligible player is now eligible. They had no method of doing that for the opposite and they put it in the next week where they tap the shoulder then make the safe sign and that meant that the eligible number was no ineligible, so the fact that they changed that the next week was a good thing and I think it made it more fair for the defense.”

By all accounts Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Harbaugh have a good relationship, but it’s instances like this that lead you to believe there is some hint of animosity between the two organizations.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Tom Brady could face a series of intriguing defenses the rest of the way. (Greg M.</p>
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Malcolm Butler

Malcolm Butler

FOXBORO — It remains to be seen whether or not Malcolm Butler will be matched up against Steve Smith on Monday, but Butler certainly respects the Ravens receiver.

Despite being 37 years old, Smith has 54 catches for 589 yards and three touchdowns this season.

“A lot of respect,” Butler said of Smith. “Age of 37, man, he’s out there running around like he’s 26 or 27. That’s a lot of respect. Great player.”

Butler went on to say Smith is one of his favorite players in the entire league because of his toughness.

Another thing with Smith is he isn’t afraid to trash-talk on the field. The Patriots know this all too well, as when the Patriots faced the Panthers in 2013, Smith and Aqib Talib went at it all game long.

Smith ultimately got the best of Talib and afterwards, Smith had one of the better quotes of the season saying, “Ice up, son. Ice up” when Talib didn’t finish the game.

Butler is aware of this and knows he cannot get involved with such after the play talk.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — Credit Martellus Bennett, as the tight end is typically very forth coming when speaking to the media, which occurred once again on Thursday.

Bennett has been on the Patriots injury report since Week 5 with an ankle injury and then a shoulder injury popped up a few weeks ago, but he still has yet to miss a game.

Martellus Bennett is playing through both ankle and shoulder injuries. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Martellus Bennett is playing through both ankle and shoulder injuries. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Credit Martellus Bennett, as the tight end is typically very forth coming when speaking to the media, which occurred once again on Thursday.

Bennett has been on the Patriots injury report since Week 5 with an ankle injury and then a shoulder injury popped up a few weeks ago, but he still has yet to miss a game.

The tight end acknowledged he isn’t 100 percent healthy.

“Last week was probably my worst game as a Patriot,” Bennett said. “But, you know, you have a bad game here and there. This week, come back grinding and get ready.”

Perhaps Bennett could benefit from a week off with only four regular-season games remaining and the playoffs to come, but the tight end admitted he isn’t thinking about that.

“I never thought about that. I just keep going,” he said. “I’m like the Energizer Bunny. I just try to find a way. Sometimes it’s [expletive] when you’re out there playing with different injuries. You can’t do a lot of things that you want to do. You have [expletive] plays. You might have a string of bad plays in a row just because you’re dealing with different things.

“But, throughout the game you kind of find a way to get the job done. I think that’s the biggest point. It may not be pretty all the time, but try to figure some kind of way to get it done. Sometimes it’s adjusting as the game goes on.”

Bennett also may have hinted he’s playing through something more serious than just a low-ankle sprain.

“The thing about this sport is it’s always something,” he said. “You never go through a season without having some kind of nick or tear, but there’s a lot of guys playing with different things. But some guys are able to play through different injuries, and some of the same injuries, you see guys around the league — go on IR and things like that, but it just depends on the person and their pain tolerance.”

The 29-year-old said occasionally it helps missing practice like he did on Wednesday, but ultimately he wants to be on the practice field, which he was on Thursday.

“Sometimes. Sometimes it’s like, thank God. I needed that today,” Bennett said. “It varies each week — I’ll fight through whatever and I think that’s something that my teammates and coaches know about me that I’m going to try to give them everything I got no matter what.”

Bennett and the Patriots will host the Ravens on Monday Night Football.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Tom Brady praised Terrell Suggs on Thursday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady praised Terrell Suggs on Thursday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — The one-sided feud between Tom Brady and Terrell Suggs has continued this week.

On Wednesday, Suggs spoke to reporters in Baltimore and once again wouldn’t say Brady’s name.

On Thursday, Brady was asked about Suggs’ play this season and Brady praised the linebacker who is in his 14th season in the league.

“I think it’s – every year he’s had pretty major injuries, and then he comes back and he looks like he didn’t miss a beat,” Brady said. “It’s his 14th year. He’s been a great player for as long as he’s been in the league, and I think he just does a lot of things very well. He’s got all the rush moves, he actually drops into coverage, he bats down balls, he butches the tight ends coming off the line of scrimmage, he’s really a playmaker for their team, and it’s not just sacking the quarterback like probably most defensive ends. I think he makes plays in a lot of ways. I’ve seen him intercept slip screens, jumping up and picking [Ben] Roethlisberger off, going the other way.

“I think he has great instincts. I mean, he definitely plays with his instincts, so if he feels like the ball is going to go inside, he rips inside to try to take it away even though that’s not really his assignment, and I think 99 percent of the time, the ball goes inside. I think he just has great instincts for what he’s doing and you can’t ever really count on the same thing from him. I think you have to kind of play him straight up and see what he’s going to do because I think he makes a lot of really good decisions out there and he makes a lot of plays.”

Suggs of course has been on the record bashing Brady multiple times over the years. He’s called Brady a cry-baby and then in the summer of 2015 said Deflategate tarnished what he’s accomplished in his career.

Brady is 5-1 against the Ravens during the regular season, but 2-2 in the postseason.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable