FOXBORO — The illegal hits by Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower on Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill will cost them in t he pocketbook.

Each were docked $16,537 for their roughing-the-passer penalties in Sunday’s season-opening 33-20 loss to the Dolphins.

Jones was penalized twice for getting his hands up in the head area while Hightower was flagged and fined for driving quarterback Ryan Tannehill into the turf in the first half.

The three penalties were among the 11 “roughing the passer” penalties called in Week 1.

“We just have to do a better job of coaching it and being disciplined in doing it,” Bill Belichick said when asked Friday about it. “The rule is what it is. You have a strike zone to hit, you have to hit in that strike zone. That’€™s the rule. And you can’€™t lead with your head. Below the shoulders, above the knees, can’€™t lead with the head — we have to find a way to hit the quarterback without doing those things. Every team in the league has to do it, that’€™s what we have to do and we have to do a better job. We have to coach it better; we have to do it better.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

The NFLPA voted Friday to approve a new drug-testing policy for both substances of abuse and performance enhancing drugs. The new rule puts a series of new rules into effect, including a higher threshold for marijuana, as well as an HGH test that will be put in place this season.

In addition, it’s reported that a number of players who have suspended under the old rules will be immediately reinstated. Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports is reporting that the NFLPA isn’t yet confirming the names of players who will be clear to return to action, but he quotes a source as saying  “it’s in the range of 20.” It’s not known if that group includes cornerback Brandon Browner or wide receiver Brian Tyms, two members of the Patriots who are currently serving four-game suspensions under the old rules.

The following is the complete announcement from the NFLPA on the decision:

This is an historic moment for our Players and our League,”€ said NFLPA President Eric Winston. “We have collectively bargained drug policies that will keep the game clean and safe, but also provide our players with an unprecedented level of fairness and transparency. Players should be proud of their union for standing up for what was best for the game.”

“€œWe stood up and fought for what was right,”€ said DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA executive director. “Twenty-five years ago it was NFL players that set out to make the game clean by asking for and collectively bargaining the first drug testing policy in professional sports. Today, this union and these player leaders have approved a policy that will serve the game well for generations of players to come.”

Important changes include:

‘€¢ NEUTRAL ARBITRATION: An Independent Arbitrator will hear appeals for positive test violations of both Substances of Abuse and Performance Enhancing Drug Policies. The NFL and NFLPA will jointly select, approve and pay for retention of 3-5 arbitrators.

‘€¢ AMENDING MARIJUANA POLICIES: The threshold for a positive test for marijuana will increase to 35 ng/ml from the previous limit of 15 ng/ml. There will be additional steps for players who test positive for the substance before suspension.

‘€¢ RETROACTIVITY: Discipline of players for certain violations in the 2014 League Year will have their discipline adjusted by certain aspects of the new policies.

‘€¢ DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE: Players successfully rejected the league’€™s proposal to issue discipline upon arrest, prior to adjudication. A two-game suspension will be issued upon conviction or plea agreement for violations of law involving alcohol and driving.

”€¢ AMPHETAMINES: During the off-season, a first time positive test for amphetamines without a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) will now be evaluated under the Substances of Abuse Policy. During the season, a positive test without a TUE will continue to be a violation of the Performance Enhancing Drug Policy.

‘€¢ HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE TESTING: Testing for hGH will occur in the 2014 season. Players have the right to challenge any aspect of the science of the hGH isoforms test. The collection of blood specimens is prohibited on game days.

‘€¢ DISCIPLINE FOR BREACHES OF CONFIDENTIALITY: The NFL and NFLPA will have the right to retain independent investigators to review cases where player confidentiality as related to the drug policies has been breached. Employees of the NFL/NFLPA/Clubs, players, certified contract advisors (agents) and policy administrators found to be in violation will face fines up to $500,000 and/or termination or other discipline.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

In the wake of a report regarding abuse of his 4-year-old son, the Vikings have officially deactivated running back Adrian Peterson i

In the wake of a report regarding abuse of his 4-year-old son, the Vikings have officially deactivated running back Adrian Peterson in advance of Sunday’s game against the Patriots in Minnesota.

Peterson has been indicted in Montgomery County, Texas, for reckless or negligent injury to a child, according to MyFoxHouston.com. According to ESPN, a warrant has been issued for his arrest in the case.

Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, released the following statement Friday:

‘€œAdrian Peterson has been informed that he was indicted by a grand jury in Montgomery County, Texas for Injury to a Child. The charged conduct involves using a switch to spank his son. This indictment follows Adrian’€™s full cooperation with authorities who have been looking into this matter. Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son. He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas. Adrian has never hidden from what happened. He has cooperated fully with authorities and voluntarily testified before the grand jury for several hours. Adrian will address the charges with the same respect and responsiveness he has brought to this inquiry from its beginning. It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury.’€

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
We talk to the playmaker about the Patriots, their match-up vs the Vikings and the bad week for the NFL.

FOXBORO — Linebacker Jamie Collins was officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Vikings with a thigh injury. After appearing on the injury report on Thursday as limited, Collins did not practice at all on Friday, leading to speculation that he could have suffered the injury or re-aggravated an injury from Sunday during full pads practice on Wednesday.

Jamie Collins

Jamie Collins

FOXBORO — Linebacker Jamie Collins was officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Vikings with a thigh injury. After appearing on the injury report on Thursday as limited, Collins did not practice at all on Friday, leading to speculation that he could have suffered the injury or re-aggravated an injury from Sunday during full pads practice on Wednesday.

The Patriots did list Rob Gronkowski as probable, an upgrade of 25 percent from last week’s questionable designation, which carries with it a 50-50 probability of playing. This could be a sign that Gronkowski is ready for more snaps after being limited in Sunday’s game in Miami, when he played only one of 13 offensive snaps in the third quarter.

The biggest news of the day on the injury report, however, didn’t involve the Patriots but rather Minnesota superstar running back Adrian Peterson, who missed practice Thursday because of a non-injury issue. Peterson was reportedly indicted on four counts of child endangerment in Texas on Friday but was back at practice Friday and is expected to play Sunday, according to the official injury report.

Here’s the complete injury report:

Did Not Participate
LB Jamie Collins (thigh) QUESTIONABLE

Limited Participation
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) PROBABLE
DE Michael Buchanan (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
DL Chris Jones (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
DL Sealver Siliga (hand) QUESTIONABLE
C Ryan Wendell (knee) QUESTIONABLE

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted in Montgomery County, Texas, for reckless or negligent injury to a child, according to MyFoxHouston.com. Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, declined to comment to Fox Houston.

The Patriots face the Vikings in Minnesota on Sunday. Peterson did not practice on Friday and the Vikings listed the reason as “not injury related.”

More to come.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo joined Middays with MFB on Friday afternoon to preview Sunday’s game against the Vikings. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo joined Middays with MFB on Friday afternoon to preview Sunday’s game against the Vikings. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Coming off a loss to the Dolphins in the opener in which the Patriots defense struggled to contain the rush, New England now must face standout Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

“Obviously, it’s going to take more than one person. It’s going to take a group effort, all the way across the board. Defensive line, linebackers — if he breaks through those guys, the secondary. It will take 11 guys to stop him on each and every play.

“They have a lot of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, with the receivers, the tight end’s pretty good. We’re also familiar with [Matt] Cassel, he can move around in the pocket and run the ball. It will take a group effort.”

The Patriots’ opener was disappointing especially for how New England squandered a 10-point halftime lead and was dominated in the second 30 minutes.

“We just didn’t execute at the same level,” Mayo said. “We were getting the turnovers in the first half and doing a good job. We need to put four quarters together, and that’s been our focus this week.”

Added Mayo: “Obviously we didn’t finish the game, but we wanted to. We were missing something, I’m not sure [if it was lacking a more aggressive attitude]. Execution — if we execute it will be a different story. Hopefully this week we can go out and put four quarters together.”

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

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar