Patriots

Patriots Notebook: Vikes’ coach laments loss of Cordarrelle Patterson – ‘(Patriots) using him better than we did’

(Adam Richins/Boston Sports Journal)

FOXBOROUGH -- Mike Zimmer sees Cordarrelle Patterson and the way he's being used by the Patriots this season, and shakes his head.

The former Viking has been a bit of a jack-of-all-trades this season in New England, having lined up at wide receiver, kick returner, and running back. On a conference call with local media Wednesday morning, the Minnesota coach sounded like a man lamenting a missed opportunity.

“(The Patriots are) using him way better than we did,” Zimmer said on a conference call on Wednesday. “I think Cordarrelle’s a great athlete and a very, very strong runner. I think they’re using him in a number different ways. It’s good to see for him. I wish we would have used him a little better.”

Patterson has 13 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with 37 carries for 156 yards and a touchdown and 17 kick returns for 525 yards and a touchdown.

“He’s an exceptional hard runner that can make a lot of big plays,” Zimmer said of Patterson. “He can make a lot of guys miss. He gets a lot of yards after contact. And then, whether it’s throwing him the ball or handing him the ball or rocket sweeps or whatever it is, I just think everyone’s known how talented he was — we obviously knew how talented he was here as well — but we didn’t get him the ball enough and maybe in a lot of those ways that they’re using him."

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Not sure you could be much healthier at the start of December than the Patriots are right now. I mean, truthfully, it's all relative, because just about everyone is dinged up in some form or fashion at this time of year. But backup tight end Dwayne Allen was the only one not present at the start of practice Wednesday on the field behind Gillette Stadium. We'll get more details when the injury report is released at 4 p.m., but it's a good way to start the week if you're New England.

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The injury report is out. Good news on the Rob Gronkowski front -- after back and ankle issues the last month or so, the tight end is off the report. But Tom Brady was one of two who were limited with a knee.

But like we said earlier, this is a really short list for a team at this time of year. Not sure if Brady's knee is the same one he had an issue with last week.