BEN VOLIN | SUNDAY FOOTBALL NOTES

What challenges await Patriots in first four games?

CHARLOTTE, NC - AUGUST 26: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks at the playbook during their game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on August 26, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Getty Images

As the preseason winds down and cuts loom, it’s time to scout the opposition during Tom Brady’s suspension.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/08/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/c2f28696a156446eb23d472340ce3a88-c2f28696a156446eb23d472340ce3a88-0.jpg Patriots extend contract of linebacker Jonathan Freeny

The linebacker, who also plays on special teams, is in his fifth NFL season.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/08/23/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/ea7264059e1f4555b3376ebdd7341e63-ea7264059e1f4555b3376ebdd7341e63-0.jpg Game 129: Royals at Red Sox

Game 2 of the series features a starting pitching matchup of David Price vs. Danny Duffy.

Ben Volin | On football

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/08/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/596012902.jpg Jimmy Garoppolo is the ‘priority’ but Tom Brady is still The Man

Brady and Garoppolo split the first-half duties, but Brady led the Patriots to their first-half TD.

Jun 14, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (25) is greeted in the dugout after hitting a home run during the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

USA Today Sports

NICK CAFARDO | SUNDAY BASEBALL NOTES

MLB must address September roster expansion

Having 40-man rosters creates an unfair advantage. Proponents of change advocate 30-man rosters.

Patriots 19, Panthers 17

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/08/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/3e162dc0e3214f6c883fcea956aeae15-3e162dc0e3214f6c883fcea956aeae15-0.jpg Brady, Garoppolo have a time in Patriots’ victory

Brady, in his first action of the preseason, was 3 for 9 for 76 yards and a TD.

patriots notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/08/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/596013076.jpg Keen competition among Patriots’ cornerbacks

Bolstered cornerback group has provided excellent play through camp and the exhibition season.

RED SOX NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/08/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/2016-08-24T003109Z_907020193_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_MLB-BOSTON-RED-SOX-AT-TAMPA-BAY-RAYS-10080.jpg Clay Buchholz will have important role in bullpen

Buchholz is coming off a nine-strikeout performance against the Rays on Tuesday.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick answers questions at a news conference after an NFL preseason football game against the Green Bay Packers Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. Green Bay won the game 21-10. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

AP

Colin Kaepernick explains why he didn’t stand for national anthem

The 49ers quarterback remained seated during the pregame ceremony before the 49ers played the Packers Friday.

REVOLUTION AT RED BULLS | SUNDAY, 2:30 P.M. (ESPN)

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/08/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/2016-08-25T035007Z_441077890_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_MLS-NEW-ENGLAND-REVOLUTION-AT-SAN-JOSE-EARTHQUAKES-10071.jpg Revolution face a Red Bulls team streaking in other direction

New England is winless in its last five MLS matches, and New York is unbeaten in its last eight league games.

It cost the Red Sox $63 million to sign budding star Yoan Moncada in 2015 — but $31.5 million of that went to Major League Baseball as a penalty.

2012 REUTERS file

ALEX SPEIER

Red Sox got caught in MLB’s Latin America crackdown

Major League Baseball is trying to change the “Wild West” mentality there, but some question its methods and motives.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/08/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/c4af6f762f154b98affd34c704fe229c-c4af6f762f154b98affd34c704fe229c-0-10066.jpg Andrew Benintendi diagnosed with just a knee sprain

John Farrell said there is no structural damage, and he believes the rookie outfielder could return to the Red Sox this season.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/07/30/BostonGlobe.com/Boston/Images/a256e882c32d4a9d85992d0b71a2eea1-9dd8731aae464d1eabe6a4bc3c9c4f74-0.jpg Roger Goodell’s new chairmen’s committee includes Robert Kraft

Kraft is one of five owners on the panel, which will help Goodell identify the NFL’s top priorities.

108 Stitches: The Podcast

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/08/25/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/545234994-10114.jpg The making of Mookie Betts

Alex Speier is joined by Chad Finn and Terry Shumpert, Mookie Betts’ uncle, to discuss the Red Sox outfielder’s rise to stardom.

Boston, MA - 8/26/2016 - (1st inning) Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) is greeted at home plate after his 3 run home run in the first inning. The Boston Red Sox take on the Kansas City Royals in Game1 of a 3 game series at Fenway Park. - (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section: Sports, Reporter: Peter Abraham, Topic: 27Red Sox-Royals, LOID: 8.2.4097394124.

ROYALS 6, RED SOX 3

Steven Wright’s return goes all wrong as Red Sox lose

The knuckleballer allowed five runs in the first inning in his first start since Aug. 5.

UFC

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/08/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/68c2f28f098b4eb9b758afdeeac98156-68c2f28f098b4eb9b758afdeeac98156-0.jpg Maia sees Condit fight as step toward UFC title shot

Demian Maia, ranked third in the welterweight division, thinks a win could make him the No. 1 contender.