FOXBORO -- Patriots defensive lineman Mike Wright was back at practice on Tuesday as the team resumed normal operations in planning for Thursday's preseason finale against the Giants at Gillette Stadium. The team worked out in shorts, shells and helmets.
Wright has missed the last several weeks with an issue that Bill Belichick said last week was not related to his concussion of last season.
Also returning were linebackers Dane Fletcher and Brandon Spikes while Dan Connolly (ankle) Wes Welker (neck), Leigh Bodden, Taylor Price and Stevan Ridley were not in attendance. Albert Haynesworth was in attendance for his fourth straight practice as was Shaun Ellis. Neither Haynesworth nor Ellis have seen a snap of action this preseason.
FOXBORO -- Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker was back in the Patriots locker room but not at the start of practice Tuesday, as he spoke before practice about his neck injury from Saturday night in Detroit. Welker said he feels better than he did after he tackled Ricardo Silva and brought him to the ground after Silva's interception of Tom Brady late in the first half of the 34-10 loss to the Lions.
"I'm OK," Welker said. "They guy made a good play on the ball and I needed to make the tackle so I went in there and made the tackle, got him down."
Asked if he thought he could be ready for the Giants this Thursday, Welker said he's leaving all decisions and comment up to head coach Bill Belichick and the medical staff.
"Whatever coach decides on that, I'm fully in on whatever he says,"I think anything that has to do with that part of your body is always scary but we have good doctors and good trainers and I...
FOXBORO -- On Tuesday, Chad Ochocinco wanted to reassure everyone in New England that he is making plenty of progress learning the Patriots offense and he'll be ready once the season begins on Sept. 12 in Miami.
"The transition has been good, it’s been fun. I’ve heard small little rumblings of I haven’t caught on yet, but I’ve been just fine," Ochocinco said. "Coming from any place you’ve been 10 years and to come here and learn the verbiage and learn as much as I’ve learned the past two weeks. I’ve done extremely well.”
Tom Brady has targeted Ochocinco eight times so far in two preseason games, with just two catches, 14 yards and one touchdown to show for his work.
"That takes time, that takes time," Ochocinco said. "Right now, scale 1 to 10, how close am I? Probably a seven. Right now, what I’m doing, I’m able to go out right now and react as I...
FOXBORO -- The Patriots reached their 80-man roster limit on Tuesday with the release of linebacker Marques Murrell and wide receiver Jeremy Ross on Tuesday morning. They also announced the signing of long-snapper and former Jets special teamer James Dearth.
Tight end Jeremy Shockey has not avoided controversy during his NFL career, but on Monday he showed his better side. When fellow Panthers tight end Ben Hartstock could not breathe because he was choking on a piece of pork tenderloin, Shockey stepped in and dislodged the meat, the National Football Post reported.
“[Hartstock] started to go to the bathroom, and I don’t know if he collapsed, but he couldn’t breathe,” said Hartstock’s agent, Mike McCartney. “Some new guy came and tried to give him the Heimlich. It didn’t work. Then Shockey hit him in the back pretty hard and out came the meat. The Panthers told me it was pretty scary.
“Ben told me, ‘Shockey came over and gave me the Heimlich maneuver and saved my life.’ He was in good spirits and he’s real thankful for Shockey.”
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