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patriots notebook

Tom Brady is selected for his 12th Pro Bowl

Tom Brady was selected to the Pro Bowl for the eighth straight time and the 12th overall in his 17-year NFL career.
Tom Brady was selected to the Pro Bowl for the eighth straight time and the 12th overall in his 17-year NFL career. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — Make it No. 12 for No. 12.

Tom Brady was selected to the Pro Bowl for the 12th time in his 17-year career Tuesday night — one of four Patriots to get the nod.

It is the eighth straight honor for the Patriots quarterback. Only Peyton Manning (14) has more selections at the position.

Brady and guard John Hannah are the only Patriots tabbed for eight straight Pro Bowls.

Special teams ace Matthew Slater was selected for his sixth overall (and sixth straight) Pro Bowl. Additionally, safety Devin McCourty got the call for the third time and linebacker Dont’a Hightower is a first-time Pro Bowler.

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All four selections are Patriots’ captains.

Earlier Tuesday, Slater was lobbying for fellow special teamer Nate Ebner to earn the honors.

“I think Nate deserves it,’’ Slater said. “The way he’s played this year, I haven’t really seen anybody playing the way he’s played.’’

Ebner is tied for the NFL lead with 16 special teams tackles, plus a forced fumble and fumble recovery. His season is even more impressive considering he spent most of his summer training with the US Olympic Rugby sevens and competing in the Rio Games.

Despite missing the first four games of the season as a result of the Deflategate sanctions, Brady has been brilliant. He’s completed 70 percent of his passes (249 of 372) for 3,064 yards with 22 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

Slater, the gold standard at the gunner position, has five special teams tackles. McCourty has 65 tackles and an interception. This is his second nod as a safety after making the game as a rookie cornerback in 2010.

Hightower, who makes all the calls for the defense, has 64 tackles and 2.5 sacks on the season.

In other selections, Cleveland’s Joe Thomas joined some elite company as the left tackle became just the fifth player in NFL history to be selected 10 straight times to open a career.

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The Raiders led all teams with seven players chosen for the game to be played Jan. 29, in Orlando, Fla.

Scheduling rest

The holidays are a busy time for everyone — including pro football players. Particularly for those who work here in New England.

Because of an oddity in the schedule, the Patriots will be playing on back-to-back short weeks, resulting in three games in 13 days.

Recovering from any game is difficult, bouncing back after short weeks (when non-Sunday games are on the docket) is harder, but getting ready after consecutive short weeks in a real challenge.

“Rest is very important,’’ Slater said. “We need to make sure we do everything we can do to recover physically so we can go out and perform and execute at a high level on [Saturday].’’

Cutting back on the physical workload, including cutting back on full-padded practices, is one way to reduce wear and tear but cutting back on activities away from the facility is key as well.

Slater, who has been nursing a sore foot the last month, said this may involve schedule changes away from the facility for some players, too.

“So, guys are going to have to do the little things,’’ he said. “Turn the TV off a little bit earlier, turn the video games off, put the baby down earlier, things of that nature, just so we can recover and get ourselves ready to go.’’

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Brissett decision due

The Patriots have a roster decision to make Wednesday regarding QB Jacoby Brissett, whose 21-day window to be activated or revert to season-ending injured reserve is up.

The rookie went on IR after Week 4 because of thumb surgery. He saw action in three games and started two, taking over for Jimmy Garoppolo, who went down midway through the Dolphins game in Week 2. He went 1-1.

He’s been back practicing with the club since Dec. 1 and has been traveling with the team, an indication of how highly thought of the third-rounder is regarded by the organization.

An argument can be made for either way the Patriots go here.

Activating Brissett allows him to continue his development and keeps a third arm around for practice, reducing Brady’s reps and workload. This could be essential with the season in the home stretch.

It would however, come at another player’s expense as someone would have to be released to make room for Brissett, who isn’t likely to be a game-day active player unless disaster strikes.

Fellow rookies D.J. Foster and Woodrow Hamilton could be candidates here. Both Foster (a running back/receiver) and Hamilton (a defensive tackle) could be stashed on the practice squad if they clear waivers (no sure thing) as the team does have an open slot.

Big blocks

Fullback James Develin was at his head-banging best in Sunday’s 16-3 win over the Broncos in Denver.

Playing a season-high 43 snaps, Develin had several crucial and crushing blocks in the win, including erasing linebacker Zaire Anderson on LeGarrette Blount’s 2-yard touchdown run. Blount often compliments Develin for “taking care of me” and this block was just the latest example.

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Develin, who also had a 13-yard reception, was excited to be in Blount’s touchdown run, his team-record 15th on the season.

“He’s come through for us many, many times,’’ Develin said of Blount, who has 256 totes for 1,060 yards this season. “I was just happy for him and proud of him for hitting that record.’’

Amendola spotted

Receiver Danny Amendola was spotted in the locker room for the first time since he suffered a high right ankle sprain against the Rams Dec. 4. He was wearing a walking boot . . . The Patriots can clinch home field advantage this weekend with a win over the Jets plus an Oakland loss or tie vs. the Colts. They can also clinch with a tie and a Raiders loss . . . The Patriots worked out defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan on Tuesday. A sixth-round pick of the Texans in 2014, the former Alabama standout played in 22 games over his first two seasons but was waived with a settlement in September after an injury-riddled camp.


Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com