The long NFL season forces to teams to face endless hurdles. But, sometimes it also offers up unique opportunities.
For the Patriots, tight end Martellus Bennett getting released by the Packers on Wednesday could represent one of those opportunities.
Bennett had an impressive season a year ago in Foxborough, helping the team past an injury to Rob Gronkowski on the way to Super Bowl glory. He left as a free agent to join Green Bay this spring, but in LaGarrett Blount-fashion may have a chance to return to the Patriots.
The Boston Globe notes that Bennett will have to pass through waivers before he's a free agent, although New England could also just claim him in that process. The Globe reports that the Patriots will practice at the Air Force Academy when the team spends next week in Colorado, between games in Denver and Mexico City. The Globe looks at how undersized center David Andrews deals with opponents of various shapes and sizes. The Globe observes that Marcus Cannon, Chris Hogan and Malcom Brown all missed practice on Wednesday.
The Boston Herald says the Patriots defense must force more turnovers, the timely story coming before a game against the turnover-prone Broncos. The Herald reports that Patriots owner Robert Kraft hosted an "epic" party Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium that features a concert by Elton John. Herald columnist Steve Buckley wouldn't bet on Bill Belichick leaving the Patriots when Tom Brady does.
The Herald declares that a New England reunion with Bennett could indeed be in play. It's funny to say, but the *Herald *notes that Brady could soon be a 1,000-yard rusher.
The Providence Journal *says that the Broncos are a good test for Brady and the Patriots. The *ProJo notes the Bennett release.
ESPNBoston.com passes along Belichick talking about former Celtics star Dino Radja's appearance at Patriots practice on Wednesday. ESPNBoston.com has a "soft-sitting" story on Brady's unique chair in the New England locker room. ESPNBoston.com assess the chances of Bennett returning to the Patriots. ESPNBoston.com compares New England's use of DE Trey Flowers this fall with the team's past use of Rob Ninkovich.
WEEI.com says Belichick is "not messing around" with the Broncos this week. WEEI.com has its take on the Bennett story as well as the Radja practice visit.
NBC Sports Boston has Von Miller discussing whether he sees Brady or Peyton Manning as the G.O.A.T. NBC Sports also has Brady approaching the 1,000-yard mark as well as a look at Flowers' key role on defense.
NFL.com has the Broncos preparing a run-first game plan to take on the Patriots Sunday night. NFL.com predicts a 28-17 Patriots win in Denver. NFL.com ranks New England just No. 3 in its list of current division leaders that should go on to win the division.
The Portland Press Herald writes that the Patriots will be facing a struggling quarterback on Sunday in a battle with Brock Osweiler.
NESN.com says that with Cannon missing practice, LaAdrian Waddle could play a key role on Sunday against Miller and the Broncos.