The NFLPA's George Atallah said the reinstatement of Brady's four-game suspension is unlikely to end any time soon, SI's Andrew Perloff reports.
A federal appeals court ruled Monday to reinstate the four-game suspension that Brady received for his alleged involvement in the "deflategate" controversy in January 2015. Brady's now in line to miss the first four games of the 2016 season, though he and the NFLPA still figure to explore their options. 2014 second-round selection Jimmy Garoppolo is the Patriots' unquestioned No. 2 quarterback.
Butler missed the Pro Bowl due to a sprained knee, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports. "There was a play on third down [in the AFC championship game] when I made a tackle or something like that and bent my knee back," Butler said Friday in San Francisco. "It swelled up pretty bad. I didn't feel it during the game because of all the adrenaline pumping. When we got back, it swelled up pretty bad, and the team just decided it was a good thing to sit me out."
Butler became instantly famous with his game-winning interception of Russell Wilson in last year's Super Bowl, and the loss of Darrelle Revis in free agency elevated him to the Patriots' No. 1 cornerback. The pseudo promotion worked wonders, as Butler notched 67 tackles (56 solo), 15 passes defended, and two interceptions while regularly drawing the opponent's top wide receiver over the course of his second campaign. While his recovery effort won't include surgery, rest and regular icing sessions have been his regimen to date.
ESPN's Mike Reiss indicates that Dobson figures to be "in a fight for a roster spot" with the Patriots in advance of the 2016 season.
The Patriots added wideouts Chris Hogan and Nate Washington via free agency, so Dobson faces some added competition for a role in the team's offense after enduring another injury-marred campaign in 2015, in which he was limited to eight games, a span in which he caught 13 passes for 141 yards. If Dobson can re-stablish his health this summer, however, keeping him around wouldn't be especially costly for the Patriots since he's in the final year of his rookie contract, which carries a salary cap hit of $1,090,845.
When asked how the foot that bothered him this past season is feeling, Edelman noted Thursday that "it's feeling better every day. That's a good thing," ESPN.com reports.
At the same time, Edelman neither confirmed or denied a recent report that he hasn't needed additional surgery on his foot and is fully on track to participate in the Patriots' upcoming offseason program. "We're just taking it day to day," Edelman added. In any case, while the wideout's health will be worth monitoring once the team hits the field this spring, there's been nothing to suggest that Edelman's playing status for the upcoming season is in any peril. Perhaps more relevant to his 2016 fantasy prospects will be what moves the Patriots make to re-tool their receiving corps this offseason.
ESPN's Mike Reiss suggests that "there's no reason to think" that Lewis -- who is bouncing back from a torn right ACL that he suffered on Nov. 8 -- "won't be available for when the games count."
The report relays that Lewis' recovery from his Nov. 18 knee surgery (performed by Dr. James Andrews) has been encouraging, with a routine January check-in revealing in terms of the running back's progress, that "things were exactly where they should be, if not better." While the Patriots do figure to take it slowly with Lewis in the coming months, it appears as though he's on track to reprise his role in the team's offense in 2016, in the absence of any injury setbacks. Of course, it's a little early to get a good read on the running back's fantasy prospects for the coming season, given that the Patriots figure to make some personal changes in their backfield this offseason, with veteran "big backs" LeGarrette Blount and Steven Jackson slated to become free agents.
Steward has been placed on injured reserve due to a back injury suffered in Sunday's win over Houston, BuffaloBills.com reports.
Starter Nigel Bradham may not be able to make it back from his ankle injury this week. If that doesn't happen, the Bills would be down their top two guys at the inside linebacker spot next to Preston Brown.
Collins has been suspended for the first four games of the upcoming season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Collins is still eligible to partake in all offseason and preseason activities, but will have to miss the first quarter of the regular season. A second round selection last year, Collins was hoping to carve out a larger role in the Falcons' secondary this term, and although he very well may still, his absence will open opportunities for his teammates to begin the campaign.
Hester (toe) still hasn't been cleared to run yet, ESPN.com reports.
Hester underwent surgery on his right big toe in January, a procedure that coincided with a four-to-six month recovery timetable. Although he's approaching the four-month mark, Hester was been limited to jogging and ladder drills in offseason workouts thus far. At 33 years old, Hester is being cautious with his rehab, but also knows that if he's unable to return kicks as the season grows closer, his $3 million salary cap figure would make him a candidate to be cut, particularly with the Falcons drafting receiver/returner Devin Fuller over the weekend.