NEPD Staff Writer: Joon Lee
Follow me on Twitter @iamjoonlee and ask me questions throughout the weeks so we can get some more weekly mailbag questions.
Here is this week’s question:
@ALykins32: @iamjoonlee do the patriots have pattern in dealing with PED violators?
Interesting question. The Patriots have had a fair amount of players who have been suspended due to PED drug use, with the last coming in 2010 with Brandon Spikes. The suspension of Brandon Bolden raises this question for me, how wide spread is the PED problem in football? The issue of steroids in sports has been crawling my brains after the recent suspension of San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal. With the growing use of testosterone as a PED, it raises the question as to whether the drug is spreading in football too.
Let’s take a look at the injury report:
Out: Defensive end Trevor Scott (hamstring), Linebacker Tracy White (foot) Questionable: Cornerback Kyle Arrington (concussion), Defensive tackle Ron Brace (elbow), Safety Patrick Chung (shoulder), Safety Steve Gregory (hip), Tight end Rob Gronkowski (hip), Tight end Aaron Hernandez (ankle), Linebacker Dont’a Hightower (hamstring), Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (knee), Left guard Logan Mankins (calf, hip), Linebacker Jerod Mayo (elbow), Offensive lineman Nick McDonald (shoulder), Linebacker Brandon Spikes (knee), Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back, knee), Wide receiver Wes Welker (ankle) Probable: Wide receiver Julian Edelman (hand), Defensive tackle Kyle Love (knee)
The two people who are out this week will not have a big impact. Expect safety Steve Gregory and Patrick Chung to make their return this week and really improve the secondary. Expect both of the tight ends to play against the Bills as well coming off of the bye week. Coming off of the bye week, injuries should be less of an issue.
Watch out for running back CJ Spiller on the Buffalo side of the football. Spiller has gotten a lot more carries as of late and has been very efficient with his carries so far this season, gaining about 7.2 yards per carry for 562 yards and 4 touchdowns. Spiller has also been lethal catching passes out of the backfield with 48 receptions for 236 yards.
Expect the Patriots defense to have a big day against Ryan Fitzpatrick. The defense has had a knack for shutting down the best offensive weapon on the opposing team so expect the defense to force quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw the ball. Fitzpatrick has completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 1674 yards., 15 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.
If you have Stevan Ridley on your fantasy team, he is a must-play this week. Buffalo has one of the worst run defenses in the league, which was exposed in the earlier matchup versus the Patriots this season when Ridley ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns.