PATRIOTS AT PANTHERS | FRIDAY, 7:30 P.M. (WBZ)

Five things to watch in Patriots-Panthers exhibition game

Keith Bedford/Globe staff file

The third preseason game traditionally is the one that most resembles a regular-season contest.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/72d9be348fec4bd3a4a334e064143020-72d9be348fec4bd3a4a334e064143020-0.jpg Dion Lewis standing tall in bid to make Patriots

Running back Dion Lewis seeks to continue strong play as Patriots get set to face Carolina.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/25/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_pats9B_spts.jpg Reggie Wayne’s contract with Patriots loaded with incentives

Wayne can make up to $2.8 million if he stays healthy and becomes a regular contributor in the offense.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1700c9e1eda54e9c9b98a742d02b948d-1700c9e1eda54e9c9b98a742d02b948d-0.jpg Jimmy Garoppolo remains unaffected by uncertainty

Tom Brady’s backup could be the Patriots’ starter come the regular season but Garoppolo isn’t letting it impact his preparation.

PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/d394519b0ab0487f91a8faa36d113a82-d394519b0ab0487f91a8faa36d113a82-0-7429--90x90.jpg New Patriot Michael Williams willing to tackle a new position

He played tight end in college and was being groomed for the offensive line in Detroit, but he’ll do whatever the Patriots want.

NFL NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/28/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/9f0e0bef8afe43478e17240f662055c7-b6ec46b728d94dcb9b4ccbe0bffb5659-1.jpg NFL notebook: Robert Griffin III evades concussion talk

The Redskins said the quarterback was cleared by an independent neurologist to play Saturday at Baltimore.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/ce8ac0cb751247c283d72bf2f8e34fe2-ce8ac0cb751247c283d72bf2f8e34fe2-0-7428.jpg Bullygate victim Jonathan Martin says he was suicidal

Martin said difficulties in the profession led him to attempt suicide multiple times.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/25/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/3mwilliams.jpg Patriots acquire right tackle Mike Williams from Lions

Williams, 24, is athletic — he played tight end at Alabama — but has yet to play in a game after being drafted in the seventh round in 2013.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/25/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/478218372.jpg NFLPA responds to NFL’s letter picking apart list of past cases

The back-and-forth is over a list of arbitration awards that have been overturned in the court system that is hearing Tom Brady’s lawsuit.

New Patriot Reggie Wayne says he has plenty left in his tank

The receiver said he has spoken with Tom Brady already and is cramming to learn the New England playbook.

PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/25/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_pats3_spts.jpg Julian Edelman gives no timetable for his return

The Patriots receiver, who spoke to reporters for the first time since he was hurt Aug. 2, said he’s taking it day by day.

Patriots Notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/02/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/15082_kd_patriots_0014.jpg Patriots lose Brandon Gibson and Brian Tyms

Gibson, who was one of the stars of training camp and the exhibition season, was placed on season-ending injured reserve after suffering a right knee injury.

NFL notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/78aaa0d5e66a40ed9a600103e2cd086e-c997fd45c7bb417680fdcb81a599ebb4-0.jpg Michael Vick accepts Steelers’ backup role; Mallet fumes at his

Vick signed a one-year deal as insurance for Ben Roethlisberger while Houston’s Ryan Mallet was seething after Brian Hoyer was named starting QB.

Tom Brady has plenty of support, from both friends and foes

Some unexpected voices have backed the Patriots QB, although his critics are coming through loud and clear as well.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/25/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/f03b2146f7384c90a88ddb66540800f1-f03b2146f7384c90a88ddb66540800f1-0-7373.jpg An educated guess at the Patriots’ opening roster

A number of roster positions are in play with two preseason games remaining.

NFL attorney Daniel Nash entered court earlier this month.

Jason Szenes/EPA/File

NFL says previous cases don’t apply to Brady

The league argued that the judge has no basis to vacate Tom Brady’s four-game suspension on the grounds that his appeal violated the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.

Alex Speier

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/24/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/8f7ec0e7368141cf9a18f13cbb0aa81f-b32a421fba004e1197c410347c74523d-0-7353.jpg Father time is not on Reggie Wayne’s side

Wide receivers historically have a huge drop in production once they turn 37, which Wayne will be in November.

NFL Notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/25/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/55cb68c042874703af83ebeaca1d2e0f-588e2567b5c44dc2b40593040c8c55cb-0-7381--90x90.jpg Cris Carter feels heat over ‘fall guy’ comments

The NFL Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst told rookies at a symposium last year to make sure their ‘crew’ has someone to take the blame if they get in trouble.

BEN VOLIN | ON FOOTBALL

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/22/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/691091175aaa42518d2703fba9371198-7228448df6554443895ce55aa9657b89-0-7466.jpg Tom Brady is in the lead in court, but NFL holds the trump card

Despite the NFLPA’s strong standing in the Deflategate saga, the NFL has the collective bargaining agreement on its side.

Patriots Notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/23/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/2015-08-23T035505Z_195990601_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_NFL-PRESEASON-NEW-ENGLAND-PATRIOTS-AT-NEW-ORLEANS-SAINTS.jpg Bill Belichick pleased with Patriots’ competitiveness vs. Saints

The coach said Sunday the team made “progress” on both sides of the ball in its come-from-behind victory.

Belichick era database

INTERACTIVE DATABASE

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2013/01/10/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/2004g18c-2786--90x90.JPG Patriots during the Bill Belichick era

Look back on the Boston Globe’s coverage of every game the Patriots have played since Bill Belichick became the head coach in 2000.

From the archives

Super Bowl XLVI

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/02/07/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/138327411--150x150.jpg Giants break Patriots’ hearts again

Look back at complete coverage of the Patriots' loss loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.

Past seasons

2013 season recap

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/05/06/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_neden5_spts-10061-13863--90x90.jpg An ugly end in Denver

Track the high and low points of the Patriots’ 2013 season before their eventual loss to the Broncos in the AFC title game.