Every Saturday, some of the hot topics surrounding the New England Patriots are explored.
@MikeReiss any thoughts on the effect of the weather for Sunday's game?— zU d (@treetree1234562) October 27, 2017
Wide receiver Danny Amendola had touched on this, saying it was discussed among the team. "The good thing is that we've spent a lot of time outside in the elements; whether it's snow, rain or wind, we've trained out there and prepared out there. So we know what to expect." One of the most recent forecasts calls for higher winds than the norm with rain approaching by the fourth quarter. The Patriots, for what it's worth, practiced in the rain on Wednesday.
@MikeReiss any chance the pats take a run at boldin?— Marc LaFlamme (@mlaflamm) October 27, 2017
Marc, it seems unlikely because part of Anquan Boldin's request apparently was that he'd like to play closer to his Florida home. Also, based on the present picture, the Patriots' needs at receiver aren't as great as other areas on the roster.
@MikeReiss what your thoughts on maybe a Akeem Ayers reunion or maybe even a deandre Levy— zack (@zackbatt31) October 27, 2017
Zack, the Patriots had Ayers in for a workout in early September, and he would be a logical candidate if the team was considering adding a hybrid-type defender who could play off-the-line linebacker in base packages and rush off the edge in sub packages. He obviously has background in the team's system from 2014 and is a good player to use as a measuring stick when considering the Patriots' options at the trade deadline. If the Patriots are going to give up an asset in a trade at the deadline, the player they acquire would have to have more value than the level of player they could sign as a free agent to make it worth their while. Levy, assuming he is healthy enough to pass a physical, probably wouldn't be on the radar based on the medical risk to the team.
David Harris' lack of playing time through the first six games wasn't directly related to injury concerns with Hightower. If Harris was deemed to have been the best player to help the team win those games, I truly believe he would have been on the field. Part of that is special-teams considerations as Harris isn't a front-line contributor in that area of the game because of his lack of foot speed.
@MikeReiss Can you elaborate on Hightower's timeline after surgery? Is he officially done for the season or could he come back near playoff?— Scott Lakin (@Soxnation0613) October 26, 2017
Scott, until the Patriots place Dont'a Hightower on injured reserve and officially use up their two IR spots for players who can return later in the season (one will be Shea McClellin, and then Vincent Valentine and Malcolm Mitchell are the others), the door would remain open. But the expectation among all involved at this point is that Hightower will be out for the remainder of the 2017 season and playoffs.
Any chance of a return on ninkovich?— Matt Belanger (@MattBelangerr) October 26, 2017
Matt, my sense on Ninkovich is that it would take a similar situation to 2009 when the Patriots brought back Junior Seau, and the general feeling is that the Patriots aren't in that type of situation at this point. That could always change, especially if Trey Flowers wasn't available because of injury.
Mike, with trade deadline coming up, why not try to pry Von Miller loose for Garoppolo? Throw in a draft pick plus Pats get a Denver QB.— Gino Spagnuolo (@spagl) October 27, 2017
Gino, these types of scenarios are always interesting to consider, and I don't see either team moving on this hypothetical deal. If anything, my belief is that the Patriots would be more inclined to try to sign Jimmy Garoppolo to an extension than trade him at this point. He has significant value to them in 2017 and beyond. Likewise for Miller and the Broncos, who made a significant investment in quarterback Paxton Lynch as a first-round pick in 2016.