FOXBOROUGH — Shea McClellin returned to Patriots practice Wednesday, the first time the linebacker has been on the field with the team since going on injured reserve in Week 1.
The Patriots still can bring back one more player from IR — the likely candidates being defensive tackle Vincent Valentine and receiver Malcolm Mitchell, both of whom are rehabbing knee injuries.
McClellin’s ailment was never revealed, though he has had a history of concussions. He has been a regular in the locker room since the beginning of the season.
The sixth-year veteran would be eligible to return to action in Week 10, against the Denver Broncos, and could provide a boost to the front seven, where he was a mainstay last season, his first as a member of the Patriots.
Wide receiver Chris Hogan was added to the report because of a rib injury. After going up to catch a pass Sunday, Hogan took a hard shot from Jets defenders Buster Skrine and Marcus Maye on his way to the ground.
Hogan was limited in practice, as were running back Rex Burkhead (ribs) and right guard Shaq Mason (shoulder).
Cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (concussion) and Eric Rowe (groin) were absent from the full-pads practice. Linebacker Elandon Roberts (ankle) also did not participate.
Additionally, linebacker Harvey Langi, who was in a car accident with his wife last Friday, was not at the session. He is listed as having a back injury.
Langi’s wife, Cassidy, posted a video with an update on their conditions on her Instagram page Wednesday. She wrote that she and her husband “still have a few days to go” until they can leave the hospital.
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Friday the 13, 2017 was date night for Harv and me 👫On our way home we stopped at the light to turn to our house, when all of a sudden a SUV rammed straight into us. I completely blacked out and don’t remember anything, while Harvey remembers seeing me, his wife, laying lifeless and gushing blood. It’s been 3 days since that moment and we were finally reunited. We have been in the hospital for a few days and still have a few days to go. We are so completely blessed to have each other to lean on through all of this craziness. We are so grateful for all of our family and friends who have taken the time to come visit us, reached out to us, prayed for us, and have shown us their love and support. Our hearts are completely full right now ❤️ I just want my husband Havea to know how blessed I am to be your wife. I know this is a huge trial we will be facing but I know we can get through this together, day by day. Thank you for always loving me and staying by my side through it all. I love you with all my heart babe 💜😘
No looking back
To prepare for Sunday’s game, both the Patriots and Falcons have gone over the tape from Super Bowl 51. The Falcons will be coming to Foxborough with significant baggage, having blown a 28-3 lead in their historic collapse in February.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn said on Wednesday’s conference call that he addressed his team about not getting caught up in the game’s Super Bowl-rematch billing earlier this week.
“The biggest thing to say is you don’t get to go replay games, and you don’t get to go replay the Super Bowl,” Quinn said. “And we lost last week. You don’t get to go replay the Miami game.
Quinn, who consulted with Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona (both familiar with blown leads in the playoffs ) after the Super Bowl, said the Falcons are focused on the present.
“One of the sayings we have is the only play that matters is the one you’re in. That’s where our focus is,” he said. “And even deeper than that, our focus is for us to play at our best. We’re not there yet. That’s what we’re out chasing. We don’t want to go into the rematch world because we learned our lessons, and you don’t get to apply them until we’re back in them again. If we keep looking back in the rear view, we’re not going to be where we want to be.”
One of the plays Belichick featured on his weekly film breakdown on the Patriots’ website was tight end Rob Gronkowski’s go-ahead touchdown early in the third quarter. Belichick pointed out how Gronkowski did a good job getting away from the Jets safeties, Jamal Adams at the beginning of his route, then Marcus Maye after he had cut inside and then turned upfield.
“Nice high-step,” he said as Gronkowski danced into the end zone like a big toy soldier.
“Oh, he liked that?” Gronkowski said later when told about Belichick’s praise for his moves. “It didn’t seem like he liked it. He says I’ve got twinkle toes, so I’ll take twinkle toes. I like when I have twinkle toes — that means I’m feeling good. I’m feeling it.” . . . If the first rule of Fight Club is not to talk about Fight Club, the first rule of Patriots-Falcons week is not to talk about Super Bowl 51. “We’ve been given really highly strict rules that we are not allowed to talk about that game, so you’re not really going to get any information from anyone about that,” said Gronkowski in an honest moment.