Late Tuesday afternoon, the Patriots made official a move many observers, including us here at patriots.com, have been expecting them to do: activate rookie cornerback Duke Dawson from injured reserve.
Dawson was placed on IR with a hamstring injury toward the end of Week 1 of the regular season, but began practicing again in late October. That automatically made him one of two IR players eligible to return from the list (running back Rex Burkhead is the other).
To make room for Dawson, the Patriots released a pair of veterans: linebacker Nicholas Grigsby and running back Kenjon Barner. The team only needed to release one player to accommodate Dawson’s activation, so, perhaps Barner’s release is a sign that Burkhead might be ready to join Dawson on the 53-man roster soon. Barner has been on and off the New England roster a number of times already this season.
Meanwhile, media are still dissecting the Patriots’ loss to Tennessee, with one columnist from the Eagle-Tribune (North Andover, Mass.) making the bold claim that QB Tom Brady’s physical decline has begun following that defeat.
An NBC Sports Boston writer goes a step beyond just words, stating his case by conducting a throw-by-throw analysis of Brady’s performance against Tennessee.
A Boston Sports Journal scribe declares, after watching the game film, that New England has only itself to blame for its terrible effort versus the Titans.
On the Mass Live blog, another reporter dives into the game film to examine if any of New England’s potential AFC Playoff opponents can use what Tennessee did to their own advantage come the postseason.
Till then, the Patriots have one more day of practice before scattering for their bye week. The Boston Herald looks at the homework this team will have to do over the next several days before their next game (at the New York Jets after Thanksgiving).
WEEI.com specifies five things the Patriots must work on during the bye week.