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News Blitz 10/13: Kraft's anthem explanation

The ongoing debate over NFL players protesting during the national anthem was tackled this week by the BBC, which aired a lengthy feature on the matter. In it, Patriots owner Robert Kraft is quoted extensively. NBC Sports Boston provides a synopsis of Kraft's thoughts on the subject.

"I personally feel it's very important to respect our flag and our anthem," he said in part, "but I also respect the right of people in this country to make statements or protests, peacefully, in a way that's appropriate to them."

Kraft has been actively involved in the NFL's efforts to try to find a suitable resolution to what has become a weekly event at most NFL stadiums (although his Patriots have since ceased kneeling after several New England players did so on Sept. 24.

Elsewhere, a Boston Herald column addresses QB Tom Brady's injured left shoulder issue, and it's a dire assessment.

"To date, Brady officially has been hit 28 times and sacked 16... The only thing you can be sure of if that kind of assault persists," the author extrapolates, "is that Tom Brady's left shoulder won't be the only thing separated by the end of the season. So will his mind and very likely his right shoulder as well."

While we're on the injury topic, NESN.com does some investigative work on which Patriots rookies who are currently on inactive lists due to various injuries could return and potentially contribute to the 2017 team.

Meanwhile, co-captain Matthew Slater opens up about New England's special teams issues this season in a Boston Sports Journal piece.

"There have been a lot of moving parts all year long. Hopefully now, we're getting guys healthy, we have guys playing together for a little while, get some continuity going (and) clean up the penalties, which has been disappointing for us thus far," Slater admitted.

Perhaps most concerning has been that when the Patriots have needed to gain 1 yard, their results have been up and down. A few weeks ago, Bill Belichick noted, "If you can't get a yard in this league, then that's going to eventually catch up to you."

A MassLive blog post also examines the rushing issue, but from a different perspective.

Finally, a feel-good feature about the resurgence of WR Danny Amendola, courtesy WEEI.com.

"Amendola has gone from being No. 1 scapegoat in Patriot Nation just a few years ago," the article concludes, "to now perhaps being in the top five of most important members of the team."

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