Patriots midweek roundup
Out with the old, in with the new
Bill Belichick gave his players three straight days off following Sunday’s 45-7 drubbing of the St. Louis Rams, but the personnel office has been busy as usual. This time, it was second year cornerback Sterling Moore on the receiving end of a Halloween trick when he was released on Wednesday.
Moore’s locker remained untouched and if he clears waivers today, he’d be eligible to return to the Patriots’ practice squad. Moore was a hero of the Patriots’ AFC clinching victory over the Ravens last year when he broke up what would have been a game-winning touchdown.
Linebacker Bobby Carpenter was also released earlier this week, and linebacker Mike Rivera and veteran defensive back Derrick Martin have been added to the roster in those vacancies. Martin’s value lies mostly on special teams, indicating that the coaching staff hopes for an upgrade in that area.
Pats getting healthy for the second half
The company line in Foxborough has to do with playing the team’s best football at the right time of the year, and the Patriots look to be rounding into form down the stretch after a convincing win in London. Their improving health down the stretch should help the team build on a 5-3 record at the halfway mark of the season.
Safeties Patrick Chung and Steven Gregory could return for Week 10 against the Bills, allowing defensive back Devin McCourty to slide back to his natural position at cornerback. Likewise, Carpenter’s release could mean that linebacker Tracy White is rounding into health.
On the other side of the ball, tight end Aaron Hernandez should be able to return after missing the trip to London with an ankle injury. And while Rob Gronkowski has been tearing up defenses recently, he’s been battling a hip injury as well. The week off should do him good.
The time off could help left guard Logan Mankins, who seemingly hasn’t been healthy since the beginning of the 2011 season.
The Pats will watch the NFL action the same way you and I do this weekend—from the couch. After that, it’s back to a normal week of practice in preparation for a visit from the 3-4 Buffalo Bills.