Belichick banishes Thomas second time

On Thursday, we explored the possibility of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick benching the so-called Tardy Four.

ThomasAt least one of the laggards won't be on the field Sunday against the Carolina Panthers in Gillette Stadium.

NFL Network's Jason La Canfora and ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss reported Saturday night outside linebacker Adalius Thomas will be deactivated.

There was no word on the other three: receiver Randy Moss and linebackers Gary Guyton and Derrick Burgess. Check back late Sunday morning to see if any of their names appear on the inactive list.

Thomas, also a healthy scratch in Week 6, was the only one of the four to react negatively after Belichick sent them home for arriving late to a team meeting Wednesday morning because wintry weather made for treacherous driving conditions.

"Motivation is for kindergarteners," Thomas told reporters Thursday. "I'm not a kindergartner. Sending somebody home, that's like 'He's expelled. Come back and make good grades.' Get that [expletive] out of here. That's ridiculous. Motivation?"

Burgess publicly accepted responsibility for being late. Guyton refused to discuss their banishment but fielded questions about the Panthers. Moss didn't speak to reporters at all.