The Patriots returned to Foxborough on Monday for the first time as a team since last Thursday when the NFL made the decision to postpone last week's games.
The players joined Head Coach Bill Belichick and the rest of his staff for morning meetings and a light workout in the afternoon as the team began preparations for Sunday's home opener against the Jets. Linebacker Roman Phifer and tackle Greg Robinson-Randall rejoined their teammates after being stranded last week as a result of travel restrictions following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
Phifer was home in Los Angeles while Robinson-Randall was in Texas last week, and both planned to return to Foxborough on Tuesday when the four hijacked planes put an end to air travel for the rest of the week. Belichick explained that they originally were instructed to make their way to Carolina for the Patriots game against the Panthers on Sunday, but those plans changed when the NFL called off the weekend's slate, allowing the two to return to Foxborough instead.
Belichick and the rest of the coaches returned to work on Sunday and injured players were on hand for treatment over the weekend. The extra week between games will allow some of the team's many injuries to heal. Linebacker Ted Johnson (hip flexor) did not practice last week before the game was cancelled, but rookie nose tackle Richard Seymour (leg) did work out on Wednesday and reported that he would have played in Charlotte over the weekend.
Rookie tackle Matt Light (ankle) and linebackers Mike Vrabel (knee) and Tedy Bruschi (knee) all joined Johnson and Seymour as questionable on the Patriots injured list for the Panthers game. Their status for the Jets game will be determined this week.
The NFL is expected to make its final decision Tuesday on what to do with the weekend's lost games. It is expected the league will opt to eliminate the final two wild card spots in each conference, allowing the Week Two games to be played the week of Jan. 5-6, which was to be the opening of the postseason.
The other option being considered is canceling the games altogether, meaning every team except San Diego would play a 15-game schedule. The Chargers would still play 16 games in that scenario because they were slated to have a bye last weekend and thus were unaffected by the postponements.