Patriots

Patriots Notebook: Ten limited at practice, while Cannon (concussion) is a DNP

(Adam Richins/Boston Sports Journal)

FOXBOROUGH -- It was a challenge, as there were no numbers for the walkthrough, but we didn't see offensive tackle Marcus Cannon at the beginning of Wednesday's session on the upper fields behind Gillette Stadium. Cannon left Sunday's game against the Chiefs with a concussion.

__________

10 limited at practice on Wednesday

The Patriots had 10 players limited at Wednesday's workouts, including Julian Edelman (heel), Josh Gordon (hamstring), Rob Gronkowski (ankle) and Sony Michel (knee). That's in addition to Marcus Cannon's absence because of his concussion. The full report for both teams is below.

 

Hicks was ready to return to New England

Given the success he enjoyed in one season with the Patriots — and his recent run of success with the Bears — many around New England wondered why the Patriots weren’t able to keep Akiem Hicks in the fold when he became a free agent.

Hicks spent 2015 with New England, and had three sacks in 13 games while also serving as a quality two-gapper along the defensive front. Bill Belichick liked Hicks so much he called him during the free-agent process to see if he would stick around, and it was almost enough to sway him.

“Most definitely. There was interest on both sides,” Hicks said Wednesday on a conference call with New England media. “I was interested in being back and they were interested in having me there. You know, it just turned out that there was an opportunity for me here in Chicago and I took that opportunity.

“(However, I) loved it, man. Absolutely loved it, loved how the organization ran,” Hicks said of his time with the Patriots. “Nothing but phenomenal things to say about that organization as a whole from the top down. Fondly remember going tom meetings at 8 o’clock. ... seeing Mr. Kraft coming into the meeting room and having a seat with his sneakers on. It was a great experience for me.”

Hicks has flourished with the Bears. He had a career-high seven sacks in 2016, and followed that up with 8.5 sacks last year. Belichick knows Hicks will present a formidable obstacle on Sunday.

″(He’s) similar to (Khalil) Mack, except he plays inside. He’s strong, physical — a very powerful explosive guy,” Belichick said. “Hard to block. Hard to block in the run game. Hard to block in the pass game. He has got good power, knocks the pocket back. He’s quick. He can get to edge, make plays with his quickness as well as his power and strength. He plays hard.”

__________

Belichick: No one compares to Lawrence Taylor

On Wednesday morning, Bill Belichick was asked if Khalil Mack was comparable to Lawrence Taylor. It led to a strong response from the coach ... one that was later echoed on social media via Taylor.

More updates throughout the afternoon...