FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The New England Patriots had full participation at practice on Wednesday as two players who exited last weekend’s game with injuries took the field along with the team’s newest acquisition.
WR Julian Edelman left the Patriots’ 30-14 win over the Jets with a chest injury while LB Dont’a Hightower suffered a shoulder injury.
Both suited up Wednesday as the undefeated Patriots get ready to battle the undefeated Buffalo Bills for control of the AFC East.
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Also present at Wednesday’s practice was QB Cody Kessler, who was signed by New England earlier in the day. The USC product was a third-round pick for the Cleveland Browns in the 2016 NFL Draft. He appeared in 17 games including 12 starts in his two years with the Browns and one year with the Jacksonville Jaguars before joining the Philadelphia Eagles, who released him before the regular season got underway.
The team also added TE Jason Vander Laan to the practice squad.
Head coach Bill Belichick took the podium Wednesday and had nothing but good things to say about their upcoming opponent.
“This is a good football team and I’m sure it’ll be a great environment on Sunday,” he said. “It’ll be a big challenge for us to go up there.”
Belichick said the Bills are playing well in all facets of the game and praised their ability to thrive in critical situations.
“[They have] a lot of explosive players on offense, a lot of experience, cohesiveness and good players on defense, explosive players with experience and playmakers in the kicking game,” he said. “Coach [Sean] McDermott has done a really good job building the team and they’ve played very competitively throughout preseason and three regular-season games, so this team has really improved a lot.”
The Patriots have scored at least 30 points in each of their first three games while the Bills’ defense hasn’t allowed more than 17 points so far this season.
“They don’t make any mistakes,” Belichick said of Buffalo’s defensive unit. “You’ve got to execute, you’ve got to handle everything they do. They don’t give up much. They make you work for every yard.”
Kickoff for Sunday’s showdown in Buffalo is scheduled for 1 p.m. and remember – the game’s on 12!
Beforehand, be sure to join us for our New England Nation pregame show at 11:30 a.m. on Fox Providence. Yianni Kourakis, Ruthie Polinsky, Morey Hershgordon and Andy Gresh will have the latest headlines and break down the matchup.
Then, stay with us for more coverage in the Patriots Wrap at 11:15 p.m. on WPRI 12 for postgame analysis, reaction from inside the Patriots’ locker room, and a recap of the day around the NFL.