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News Blitz 10/16: Patriots reportedly bring in trio of receivers for tryouts on Tuesday

Posted Oct 16, 2013

The News Blitz gets you up to date with the latest news from local and national media.

Mike Reiss of discusses who will help fill the void at linebacker in the wake of Jerod Mayo's season-ending pectoral injury.

"In the Patriots' base 4-3 defense, Mayo has mostly played the weak side, with Brandon Spikes in the middle and Dont'a Hightower on the strong side. Rookie Jamie Collins, the Patriots' top draft choice (52nd overall), is a leading candidate to step in for Mayo," writes Reiss. "Four-year veteran Dane Fletcher, whose primary contributions have come on special teams, is another option.

"Meanwhile, Hightower is the top choice to lead the huddle on early downs (he did so Sunday after Mayo left with his injury), but because he sometimes doesn't play in sub packages, the Patriots might consider other possibilities for that role."

Erik Frenz of the Boston Globe gives his scouting report on the New York Jets as the Patriots get set to face "Gang Green" in East Rutherford on Sunday.

He calls Jets TE Jeff Cumberland the team's biggest X-factor.

"Smith has looked to Cumberland in some big spots, including on this touchdown pass against the Falcons," notes Frenz. "It was a great throw by Smith to put it on the back shoulder in the one spot where only Cumberland could get it, but the tight end gets props for going up over the linebacker to make the catch above his head. We all know about the Patriots struggles defending tight ends, so Cumberland's name could pop up once or twice in a key moment."

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports that Patriots DL Armond Armstead and WR Mark Harrison will not begin practicing today as each player works their way back from the non-football injury list.

Today marks the first day that both players are eligible to return to practice.

"Armstead would fill a more immediate need due to the lack of depth at defensive tackle, and the Patriots intended on him being the top backup as they prepared for the season," adds Howe. "He was spotted working out last week on an adjacent practice field."

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that the Patriots brought in receivers Jordan Shipley, LaQuan Williams, and Devon Wylie for tryouts on Tuesday.

Tight end Brandon Barden also received a tryout.

"The Patriots have yet to say anything about the status of receiver Danny Amendola, who appeared to have suffered a potentially significant concussion (yes, they all are) on Sunday against the Saints," writes Florio.

Doug Kyed of writes that the play of Patriots safety Devin McCourty stood out in his film review of last week's Saints game.

The versatile defensive back played both safety and cornerback following Aqib Talib's hip injury in the third quarter.

"Before Jimmy Graham, who Talib and the rest of the Patriots held catchless, got injured, the Patriots slid Devin McCourty down from safety to play cornerback," writes Kyed. "New England inserted rookie Duron Harmon at safety in McCourty’s place. When Graham was out, McCourty stayed at safety and Logan Ryan came in to play cornerback. There were also snaps when the Patriots used six defensive backs, so Ryan and McCourty were playing cornerback at the same time."

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