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Cleaning out the Patriots notebook

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Cleaning out the Patriots notebook leading into Wednesday, when media-access is scheduled to kick off with quarterback Tom Brady's news conference at 10 a.m. ET:

Follow-up on LaFell's absence. Receiver Brandon LaFell's absence from practice today was because of strep throat, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. LaFell's chair was folded up in the locker room Tuesday, reflective of a player who hadn't been at the facility.

Hooked on Moss '30 for 30' program. ESPN's "30 for 30" series on pre-NFL Randy Moss (8-9 p.m. ET) had me hooked and reflecting on a trip to "Rand University" in 2008. One of my favorite assignments, from start to finish.

Colts' onside kicks draw attention. Patriots coach Bill Belichick noted the Colts have sprung a few onside kicks on opponents this year, so the Patriots will have to be ready on Sunday night. "They got the onside kick against Denver, so they’ve recovered three onside kicks -- two surprises," he said. "You don’t want to give away a possession -- ever. ... They kind of overload or put the formation to displace the front of your kickoff return unit. That creates some potential openings or spaces. The most important thing in any return game, kickoff or punt return, is number one, you get the ball. You always defend that, but it’s probably a little more of an issue this week because they’ve done it. We know that [special teams coordinator Tom] McMahon will do those kind of things. They’re a very aggressive special teams unit in terms of rushes, fakes, onside kicks, things like that."

Media scene. Players drawing large media crowds in the locker room Tuesday included kicker Stephen Gostkowski; running backs Brandon Bolden and Shane Vereen; tight end Tim Wright; and defensive end Rob Ninkovich.

Looking ahead to Wednesday. We'll lead off the day by splitting up our regular "Catching up with former Patriots" update into two parts -- AFC and NFC. The weekly video P.A.T. feature, with newly acquired linebacker/designated pass-rusher Akeem Ayers, will also be posted later in the day.