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On guard

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Patriots right guard Billy Yates was placed on injured reserve on Monday. Yates, 26, had been playing right guard for the Pats, and injured his leg late in the third quarter of Sunday's game against the Jets. The play in which he was injured was a second-down, 4-yard run by running back Laurence Maroney to Yates' side. His return to the game was listed as questionable, though he never retook the field.

Yates is labeled on the injured reserve list as having a leg injury, however Patriots spokesperson and executive director of meida relations, Stacey James informed the media more specifically about the injury prior to coach Bill Belichick's Monday press conference, saying that Yates has a broken leg, and will be out for the remainder of the season.

The news of Yates' broken leg may be cause for concern, since he has started in the Patriots last three games at right guard, beginning with the Oct. 30 game against the Vikings. In his first three NFL seasons, Yates played in 11 career games with three starts.

Stephen Neal started at the right guard position in the first six games of the season. He hasn't played in the last three games though he's been listed as questionable with a shoulder injury every week since playing against the Bills in Game 6 of the season.

Russ Hochstein, who plays center and guard, but is usually tabbed as Neal's primary backup, has been listed as questionable with a knee injury since before Game 6 against the Bills. He did not play against the Bills, the Vikings or the Colts, but returned to action on Sunday against the Jets.

With Yates off the active roster, coach Belichick said Monday, "We'll figure out what we're going to do with that roster spot by Wednesday," meaning that someone will be added to the active roster by midweek. One potential candidate for that spot is running back Patrick Pass, who is still on the physically unable to perform list. He started practicing last Tuesday and the Patriots have until 4:00pm on November 29 to add him to the active roster if they chose to do so.

NFL flexes, Patriots slide
The NFL announced on Monday that the Patriots Week 12 game against the Bears, which had originally been scheduled to be played on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 1:00pm, will now be played on the same day at 4:15pm (EST). The game will air on FOX Network.

The NFL's "flex scheduling" only affects Weeks 10-15 and Week 17, and this is the first year it's been done. Flexible scheduling is intended to ensure quality matchups in all NFL Sunday time slots in those weeks and give teams a chance to play their way onto primetime and into the late-afternoon 4:15pm time slot on CBS and FOX.

Other changes to the Week 12 schedule include the Giants-Titans game, which will also be played at 4:15pm rather than 1:00pm; and the Eagles-Colts game, which will be played in primetime (8:15pm) on NBC.

Notes:
The Patriots gathered at Gillette Stadium today to watch film of yesterday's loss to the Jets. Coach Belichick held his usual Monday press conference, saying, "On yesterday, I don't think there's really much more to add than what we talked about last night. I feel like, from top to bottom, they just did a better job than we did yesterday in all three phases of the game. Everybody involved in the football team, players and coaches and everybody involved, just, we've all got to do a better job. It's disappointing." … Very few players were available in the locker room, though Richard Seymour held court with the media for a long stretch of time. Seymour told the media that he's gotten an extra cell phone, "for the fans," though he didn't mention the phone number. It rang the entire time the press was in the locker room.

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