FOXBORO, Mass. — For the first nine weeks of the season, the Patriots’ secondary has been the strength of the defense.
Now, some of the key contributors in the defensive backfield are banged up heading into Carolina on Monday night. Aqib Talib is still limited with a hip injury, Kyle Arrington has been limited with a groin injury and Alfonzo Dennard missed practice on Saturday after being limited with a knee injury Thursday and Friday.
Arrington is expected to play, according to a source. Dennard is “iffy,” according to another source. Since Talib spoke to the media this week, signs are pointing toward the cornerback being back against the Panthers.
Here are some more notes from Saturday’s locker room session:
-Devin McCourty and Kenbrell Thompkins briefly exchanged some friendly words about the Rutgers-Cincinnati game. Cincinnati was leading 10-0 when locker room access opened. The Bearcats have since opened up that lead even more.
Julian Edelman got into it, too, calling Rutgers a “basketball school.” McCourty simply asked what Kent State’s record is this year (3-8).
-Shane Vereen was not spotted in the locker room. He doesn’t need to speak to the media until he comes off short-term injured reserve. He did not have a travel bag in front of his locker. I still expect him to play.
-Aqib Talib didn’t have a travel bag either. I fully expect him to play.
-Dennard was not spotted in the locker room, but his travel bag was fully packed. Most of this travel bag stuff probably doesn’t mean much, but it’s still interesting to look around and see who has what packed.
-Mark Harrison‘s folding chair was back propped against his locker. That had been the case for weeks, but his locker showed some activity after the bye week.
-Bill Belichick walked through the locker room a couple times. That’s unusual for an open locker room session.