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Quick Kicks: Thu 9/20 practice & locker room notes

Another near-perfect, early-autumn-like day in New England as the Patriots practiced outside in full pads (their third such session of the 2012 regular season).


Attendance-wise, every player except tight end Aaron Hernandez (ankle) and rookie defensive lineman Justin Francis (ankle) suited up.

Wide receiver Greg Salas, cut the other day to make room for Deion Branch on the 53-man roster, is back with the team. He passed through waivers and was placed on the Patriots practice squad. Wide receiver Kerry Taylor was released to make Salas' spot available. The team has not yet made that move official, but Salas' appearance and Taylor's absence today was a clear indication thereof.

Tight end Kellen Winslow spoke to reporters today for the first time as a Patriot. His interview is detailed on

Defensive tackle/co-captain Vince Wilfork told reporters Thursday what the Patriots need to do to beat QB Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice, and the Ravens' always-stout defense this week in Baltimore. "We're going to have to play almost a perfect game to walk away on the road Sunday night with a victory," he declared. "This is a good Baltimore football team, we've seen over the years, but I think this team now is stacked, probably one of the best teams that Baltimore's had. Defensively we have to be ready, they're going to give us everything they have. They're be very excited to finally get us in their place, on Sunday Night Football. It's going to be a good football game."

Patriots rookie DE Chandler Jones will face his brother, Ravens d-lineman Arthur Jones, this Sunday night in Baltimore, and their big brother, Jon "Bones" Jones, has a UFC prize fight the night before. The two are close, New England's Jones said Thursday, talking almost daily (they were even roommates at Syracuse), but not this week. "I haven't talked to him. Maybe, after the game… we're just getting ready for this game." Jones said he plans to watch his other brother on Saturday, though, when he has some free time. "Main thing is just focusing on this game, trying to get this game plan down and win this game," Jones stressed.

In a conference call with Baltimore media, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick made the following comments on the passing this week of NFL Films icon Steve Sabol: "You can't say enough about Steve and what he has meant to the National Football League, NFL Films and the game of football. I think he has presented the game in a way that all fans, all of us, enjoy. You can see the excitement, the entertainment and can laugh at, depending on how it's being presented. He has done a tremendous job of gaining the trust and confidence of the people that he has worked with, which isn't the easiest thing to do, to do what he does and get that kind of cooperation. I think over the years he has developed a great level of respect and trust and that says a lot. I don't think ['Bill Belichick: A Football Life'] would have ever happened without Steve Sabol, to be honest with you. He's a special man, and he did so much for our game, for the NFL and for the game of football. It's a sad day. He's a great man."

The full injury report will be updated here on the blog around 5 p.m., once the Ravens are done practicing.

UPDATE… 5:24 pm

Two more players were added to New England's injury report Thursday. As if the Patriots didn't have enough to worry about on the offensive line, left guard Logan Mankins was limited today due to a hip problem. Defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick developed an ankle issue and was limited as well, along with eight others: RG Dan Connolly (concussion), rookie CB Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), TE Daniel Fells (shin), WR Brandon Lloyd (thigh), OL Nick McDonald (right shoulder), CB Sterling Moore (knee), RB Shane Vereen (left foot), and RT Sebastian Vollmer (back). Hernandez and Francis were the only non-participants. Patrick Chung (shoulder) took part fully.

Down in Baltimore, the Ravens are getting healthier. The same seven players were listed on their report, but only OL Jah Reid (calf) did not practice. LB Jameel McClain (knee), DE Pernell McPhee (knee), S Bernard Pollard (ribs), and CB Lardarius Webb (knee) were upgraded to limited participation. Meanwhile, LT Michael Oher (ankle) and OLB Paul Kruger (back), limited on Wednesday, were back in full force Thursday.

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