Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Mike Lowe has covered the New England Patriots since 1999 for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and has had a nice view of their emergence as one of the NFL’s premier franchises.
He’s been at the paper since 1982 and has covered everything from a Little League World Series to the Summer Olympics. He is married to Tracie and they have three children and two grandchildren.
Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeLowePPH.
Safety Steve Gregory, who broke his right hand in the fourth quarter of the Patriots' win over Pittsburgh on Nobv. 3, headed their inactive list for Sunday's game against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Gregory, missing his second consecutive, will likely be replaced by rookie Duron Harmon. Gregory did practice during the week.
It wasn't all bad news for the Patriots however. Cornerbacks Aqib Talib (hip), Alfonzo Dennard (knee) and Kyle Arrington (groin), all questionable for the game, are all active. That is huge against a Denver offense led by Manning that is averaging an NFL-best 39.8 points, 350.4 passing yards and 455.5 total yards.
Tight end Michel Hoomanawanui(knee) is also inactive, which should mean more playing time for Matthew Mulligan, the Maine native and UMaine graduate.
With Peyton Manning and the high-flying Broncos coming into Gillette Stadium Sunday night, the Patriots don't want to get caught short in the secondary.
With four defensive backs hobbled by injuries, New England made a roster move Saturday to bolster its depth in the secondary, promoting cornerback Justin Green from the practice squad and releasing running back Leon Washington.
The 22-year-old Green was an undrafted free agent out of Illinois. He impressed the staff in training camp and preseason games and has been on the practice squad all year.
The move seems to indicate that cornerback Alfonzo Dennard likely won't play against the Broncos. He suffered a knee injury in practice last week and missed the Monday night game at Carolina. He reportedly had surgery earlier in the week and has been limited in practice. He is listed as questionable for the game, meaning he has a 50-50 chance of playing.
Wes Welker, who suffered a concussion in last week's win over Kansas City, returned to practice Wednesday for the Denver Broncos, taking a step toward playing in Sunday's game against his old teammates, the New England Patriots.
Welker, who starred for six seasons with the Patriots, signed with the Broncos in the off-season and is Denver's leading receiver.
But his status for Sunday's game at Gillette Stadium was put in doubt when he was injured against the Chiefs.
After practice he told the Denver media that he was feeling good and hoping to play.
Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, Round 14.
That's what NBC is building up the Patriots game with the Broncos on Sunday night. If it's anything like the first 13, we should be treated to a spectacular game.
Here's some things to chew on as you wait for it:
- Brady has a 9-4 record (7-3 in the regular season) in head-to-head games with Manning, though Manning has won four of the last seven.
Anyone who watched the New England Patriots lose to the Carolina Panthers 24-20 Monday night knows how the game ended: in controversy with Tom Brady berating the officials as they came off the field.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski appeared to be interfered with by Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly on the game's final play, which ended with a Brady interception in the end zone.
A flag was originally thrown for a penalty, then picked up after the officials got together and talked about it.
After the game, pool reporters Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com and Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer spoke with referee Clete Blakeman.