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Jonas Gray sent home after being late for Patriots practice

Jonas Gray is coming off a phenomenal game, but he is not above the rules. Associated Press/file/Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH — Running back Jonas Gray was sent home from the Patriots facility Friday by coach Bill Belichick after showing up late.

Belichick has a longstanding rule about tardiness, and Gray isn’t the first player this season to be booted after oversleeping: Darrelle Revis suffered the same fate last month.

Gray was expected to return to Gillette Stadium in the afternoon to get in his day’s workout.

The 24-year-old running back shot from anonymity to the cover of Sports Illustrated this week after his 38-carry, 201-yard, 4-touchdown performance in prime time against the Colts last Sunday.

It is unknown at this point whether Gray’s playing time Sunday will be affected by his transgression.


Blount gets No. 29

LeGarrette Blount was still wearing the No. 60 practice jersey Friday, but the running back said he’d be receiving his old No. 29 from special teamer Don Jones, with Jones switching to No. 31.

Blount, who was released by the Steelers Tuesday and re-signed by the Patriots Thursday, is happy to be back.

“I’m excited about it,” said Blount, who first came to New England last year via trade with the Buccaneers and finished the season with 772 yards rushing on 153 carries and seven touchdowns, and was the team’s leading kickoff returner.

“I got the news after the waiver [period] was over that they wanted to bring me here. I wanted to be back.”

He signed with the Steelers in free agency, but was cut after leaving the field this past Monday night before the game ended, upset with his lack of carries. Fellow running back Le’Veon Bell rushed for 204 yards in Pittsburgh’s win over the Titans.

Blount did not want to discuss his Steelers tenure, though on Thursday night, after tweeting a picture of himself in his Patriots hoodie, saying, “We baaaaaack!!!”, he sent out three more tweets.


“I would like to thank the Pittsburgh Steelers organization, Mr [Dan] Rooney, [general manager] Kevin Colbert, Coach [Mike] Tomlin and Coach Sax [running backs coach James Saxon] for the opportunity and experience they provided me,” he wrote.

“I would also like to apologize to them and my Teammates and fans for how things ended. I made a poor decision that I will definitely grow from. I wish the Steelers, my former teammates and Steeler Nation nothing but the best.”

Belichick said it is up to Blount to determine what his role with the Patriots will be, “just like everybody else.”

“When he gets an opportunity, how much he can take advantage of it, how much he can be productive, what he can do with those opportunities, will determine how many more there are and how [big] it becomes,” Belichick said. “It’s totally up to him.”

Blount said he’s in good shape and will be ready whenever he’s called upon.

“Bill’s a straightforward shooter,” said Blount. “He’s a 100 percent honest person. I truly believe that if I do what I have to do, then I’ll make myself a role on this team.”

Injury report

The Patriots ruled out OL Cameron Fleming (ankle/finger) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) for Sunday’s game, no surprise since they were unable to practice all week.

OL Marcus Cannon (hip), DL Dominique Easley (knee), and DB Nate Ebner (finger) are listed as questionable. Easley again did not practice Friday after sitting out Thursday.

QB Tom Brady (ankle) and WR Julian Edelman (thigh) were listed as probable.


For the Lions, DT Nick Fairley (knee) and G Larry Warford (knee) are out, and RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is questionable. Six players are probable, including RB Joique Bell (ankle), WR Calvin Johnson (ankle), DE Jason Jones (who returned to the team after missing Wednesday and Thursday for a family emergency), TE Jason Pettigrew (foot), T LaAdrian Waddle (knee), and WR Golden Tate (hip).

Tate was added to the report Friday, and was limited in practice.

Gronkowski fined

Rob Gronkowski joked after the win in Indianapolis that he threw Sergio Brown out of the club when he blocked the Colts safety off the field and into a camera stand, but the NFL didn’t take too kindly to Gronkowski acting like a bouncer. He was fined $8,268 for unnecessary roughness . . . FB/TE Emil Igwenagu, who played at Worcester Holy Name and UMass, has been on the Lions practice squad all season after being released by the Eagles in training camp. “He’s a tough player, smart, and we really do think he’s going to develop and keep making good progress,” Detroit coach Jim Caldwell said. “He’s working at it, giving us great looks on our [scout] team at this point in time, but he really does have great potential.”


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Follow Shalise Manza Young on Twitter at @shalisemyoung.