The Patriots announced yesterday that linebacker Tedy Bruschi has been cleared by team doctors to return to practice. A statement released by the team prior to the Broncos game stated, "The New England Patriots have been advised that Tedy Bruschi has received unanimous medical clearance from outside specialists in the field of stroke neurology. He has also passed multiple physical examinations by team doctors and has been cleared to resume practicing as early as this week. The Patriots organization is satisfied that Tedy Bruschi has received the best medical attention possible and has been assured that he is medically cleared to resume his playing career. Tedy Bruschi has worked very hard throughout his rehabilitation to return to full health and has been assured by all who have examined him that he has. With the necessary unanimous medical clearances to return, Tedy Bruschi and his family will make the final decision as to whether he returns to the field and begins practicing once again with the team. The Kraft family and the entire Patriots organization want only what is best for Tedy Bruschi and his family and will continue to support his decision." Ultimately, the final decision will rest with Tedy Bruschi. Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe, John Tomase of the Boston Herald and Tom Curran of the Providence Journal all report on the Patriots statement on Bruschi.
The Patriots mounted a late second half rally against the Denver Broncos as they closed a third quarter deficit of 28-3 to 28-20 in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, but fell short as the Patriots go into the bye week with a 3-3 record. "We're not going to mope because we lost," Branch said. "We wanted to be 4-2 going into the bye, and that didn't happen. We just have to regroup." Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, Tom Curran of the Providence Journal, Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant and Larry Weisman of* USA Today* all offer a recap of the game.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that Patriots QB was hit hard by the Denver Broncos all day, but that didn't stop him from nearly leading New England to an improbable comeback. The Patriots fell just short losing 28-20. "We weren't out of it," Brady said. "It was a one-possession game. We had a chance to score. That's what we'll be thinking about on the way home tonight." John Tomase of the Boston Herald also offers a similar article.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes that the usually reliable New England receivers had problems catching the ball at the most critical times in the game. Wide reciever Deion Branch dropped a would be touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and also dropped a third-down pass in the Patriots final drive that would have put New England in a fourth-and-short situation. "It was a good play, and if I had made the catch it would have been a great catch,'' Branch said. David Givens also dropped a perfect pass over the middle from Tom Brady on that final drive. "I had an issue finding the quarterback,'' Givens said. ``And by the time I found him, the ball was on me. I should of made the play, and I didn't."
Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe offers a story on Patriots running back Patrick Pass. Pass filled in admirably for the injured Corey Dillon(foot) and put forth a solid performance with 10 carries for 64 yards, six receptions for 89 yards and a rushing touchdown. "I'm just holding it down until my man comes back," Pass said. "Corey's hurting right now, and I have to do what I can to help the team. He'll get healthy over the bye and be back to play some great football." Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald also offers a similar article on Pass.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes that Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith came up big again against the Patriots. Smith's biggest play came early in the second quarter when he crossed deep across the back of the Pats defense and hauled in a 72-yard bomb from Jake Plummer. Corner Duane Starks was no match in man-to-man coverage. Smith did it again in the third quarter, crossing shallower across the defense and picking up a 21-yard gain.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his analysis of the Patriots 28-20 loss to the Denver Broncos.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.