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Deion Branch will miss game against Broncos

Deion Branch AP

The Patriots listed 13 players as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Broncos.

One of the benefits of that strategy: No one has any idea which players are truly questionable, and which players are going to suit up.

In a bit of a surprise on Saturday, the Patriots downgraded Deion Branch to out. He didn’t make the trip to Denver because of a groin injury. It’s a surprise because Branch hasn’t missed a game all year and was able to practice on a limited basis during the week.

In a move that’s not a surprise, the team re-signed safety Ross Ventrone for the 174th time this season.

New England is down four starters against Denver. Linebacker Brandon Spikes, Safety Patrick Chung, and tackle Sebastian Vollmer were all declared out. Reserve running back Shane Vereen also stayed back in New England.

The loss of Branch will make it easier for the Broncos to focus their attention on Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots could desperately use another wideout to step up like Chad Ochocinco or Tiquan Underwood.

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37 Responses to “Deion Branch will miss game against Broncos”
  1. havlicekstoletheball says: Dec 17, 2011 6:00 PM

    What is still wrong with Chung? Wasn’t he all but ready to return a couple weeks ago?

    Been following the NFL for 35 years, and this is the worst defensive secondary I believe I have ever seen. The ‘skins had receivers without a d-back withing 15 yards of them on half a dozen occasions.

    This team could wind up being the worst 13-3 team in NFL history. Unless they get right on defense, they are going to get KILLED against a good playoff team. Brady could get them 42 points and they could still lose by two touchdowns.

  2. rushbacker says: Dec 17, 2011 6:17 PM

    I would expect Bailey to shadow Welker all day, allowing the Broncos to double Gronkowski as much as possible.

  3. broncotis3000 says: Dec 17, 2011 6:36 PM

    Uh…Dont you mean the worst 12 – 4 team??

  4. rcaron336 says: Dec 17, 2011 6:42 PM

    Don’t forget about Hernandez, he’s no slouch.

  5. blkmanwtan says: Dec 17, 2011 6:54 PM

    Denver’s pass rush will make Tom Brady make a lot of mistakes. With no defense, I think this will be a blow out. Broncos 35 Patriots 17

  6. rajbais says: Dec 17, 2011 6:57 PM

    Get T.O.!!! Get T.O.!!! Get T.O.!!! Get T.O.!!!

    I’m sorry, but I’m tired of PFT posting crap that Tom Curran wrote!!! He wrote about this possibly happening!!! Let this signing take place so the man whose Boston accent makes him sound like Elmer Fudd can be correct for a change!!!!

  7. rogerbrad says: Dec 17, 2011 6:57 PM

    I just want them to SHUT UP all that Tebow noise…

  8. bearsrulepackdrool says: Dec 17, 2011 7:22 PM

    Tebow strikes again. All that prayers is messing with the other team.

  9. 6ball says: Dec 17, 2011 7:23 PM

    .

    Gronkowski and Solder in line. Hernandez, Welker, Tiquon and Ocho wide out. The Patriots may be looking to run the ball.

    .

  10. cowboysallday says: Dec 17, 2011 7:26 PM

    Ocho time?

  11. 11wheatd says: Dec 17, 2011 7:28 PM

    havlicekstoletheball says:
    Dec 17, 2011 6:00 PM

    Been following the NFL for 35 years, and this is the worst defensive secondary I believe I have ever seen.

    ______________________________

    You clearly haven’t watch the Vikings secondary this year. I think they’d have a better chance stopping 3rd and 2 then 3rd and 13. I am a Vikings fan, I’ve watched EVERY game, believe me

  12. caseyanthonymunoz says: Dec 17, 2011 7:29 PM

    “Hey I’m hurt too! Real badly! It’ll be heroic if I can play. Honestly. Even though the X-Rays said it’s only a Grade One sprain (the mildest kind), it’s incredibly brutal. No normal human could survive it. Look at me!!” – Ben R. (the R is for rapist)

  13. patriotsssss says: Dec 17, 2011 7:44 PM

    You know you people know nothing about football..when you’re picking Tebow and the Broncos to win. Tebow over Brady, seriously? Brady is the real god in this football game. And who’s going to cover Welker and Gronkowski? Tebow?! Goodman and Dawkins are both hurt for the broncos. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. Patriots win easily, 38-14.

  14. aljack88 says: Dec 17, 2011 7:47 PM

    “Unless they get right on defense, they are going to get KILLED against a good playoff team. Brady could get them 42 points and they could still lose by two touchdowns.”
    ———————————————————–
    The Pats were up 31-3 against the COLTS with less than 10 minutes to play and they had to hang on for dear life to win that one. There’s no reason to expect any improvement this season; at best, the “horrendous” secondary might improve to “awful” if Chung can ever play again.

    The Pats historically have not played well in Denver; their D just plain sucks; and their only healthy legitimate WR plays best from the slot, minimizing the ability to to take advantage of the Bronco’s D’s biggest weakness. Ocho and the other idiot just fill out the roster. BTW – Ocho had a big “twitter” day with college students in Boston this week so he hasn’t changed at all. But at least he is acknowledged for his social media skills.

    I am a Pats’ fan but not blind. We could be getting a much bigger dose of “Tebowing”, “magical season” and all sorts of “religious significance” if the Pats don’t pull out a win; but I’m feeling that there will way too much sugar in my tea for the weeks to come.

  15. t16rich says: Dec 17, 2011 7:48 PM

    Tebow will pray for him.

  16. ozierdisaster3335 says: Dec 17, 2011 8:02 PM

    I know this is off subjects, but I have Brady and tebow on my fantasy, “thumbs up” if I should start Brady or “thumbs down” if I should start tebow.. thanks everyone

  17. trbowman says: Dec 17, 2011 8:10 PM

    Chad Johnson is a terrible football player. He’s behind stone hands Underwood. Speaks volumes.

  18. aljack88 says: Dec 17, 2011 8:14 PM

    11wheatd says:

    You clearly haven’t watch the Vikings secondary this year. I think they’d have a better chance stopping 3rd and 2 then 3rd and 13. I am a Vikings fan, I’ve watched EVERY game, believe me
    ————————————————————
    11wheatd – I feel your pain. 3rd and longs no longer mean anything.

    Away from the red zone, the Pats secondary generally concedes 7-10 yds to any WR that has any kind of skills. The D philosophy is to hope that the opposing O will make some sort of mistake, either by turn over or by penalty, before making a score. They have shown that it works most of the time if the Pats’ O is scoring big during the regular season; but not so well in the playoffs.

  19. turdfurgerson68 says: Dec 17, 2011 8:18 PM

    Ochocinco gotta step up his game…simple as that. Underwood as well.

  20. edgerules says: Dec 17, 2011 8:20 PM

    Broncos have some fairly young safeties from my understanding. I still think Pats pull out the win.

  21. bigjimatch says: Dec 17, 2011 8:35 PM

    Is Ocho still trying to figure out the playbook?

  22. badtimeoutcaldwell says: Dec 17, 2011 8:42 PM

    Ochocinco is Brady’s 5th best option after Gronkowski, Welker, Hernandez, and Branch…

    Having said that, Ocho would still be Tebow’s #1 option in Denver. Tebow has the worst WR crew in the NFL

  23. packmanfan says: Dec 17, 2011 9:01 PM

    Oh.
    There are other players on the Broncos team?
    Who knew?

  24. playitfunky says: Dec 17, 2011 9:05 PM

    Breath in, breath out, feel that Pats? That’s lack of 02 in your bloodstream you are feeling. Not to mention the thin air screws up Brady’s timing and all his deep balls sail on him. Tick tock Patisies! It’s almost Tebow Time!

  25. playitfunky says: Dec 17, 2011 9:07 PM

    Broncos defense is no joke. They have put a hurtin on 3-4 qbs this yr. Brady might win, and still be lucky to not be injured for the stretch run. VONDOOM is coming!

  26. jimboonie says: Dec 17, 2011 10:03 PM

    I worry that I’m gonna hear “Pat Chung to IR” soon. If they can just get one real safety playing, I’ll feel a little better. This is worse than 2005.

  27. jimboonie says: Dec 17, 2011 10:04 PM

    @playitfunky
    WTF is a 3-4 qb?

  28. commandercornpone says: Dec 17, 2011 10:43 PM

    yes the broncos have long played NE well. shanarat the genius is overrated but his teams, usually denver, last week wash… always play NE tough.

    i see denver covering.

  29. 6ball says: Dec 17, 2011 10:44 PM

    .

    @jimboonie

    wtf is a 3-4 QB?

    He’s the dude who calls the defensive signals, like urlacher, palamalu, or patrick willis.

    .

  30. raqaiw says: Dec 17, 2011 11:52 PM

    The worst secondary ANYONE has seen is the 2010 Texans’. They were handing out TDs to teams like Santa and gifts at Christmas. Tebow actually beat them his rookie season. That’s how bad they were.

  31. robertb655 says: Dec 18, 2011 12:10 AM

    Broncos fan here.

    I think the Pats will win.

    I also thought Oakland would win (in Oakland), the Jets would win (both teams on 3 days rest), Chargers would win (in San Diego) and that the Bears would win when their season was on the line.

    Just goes to show that a full team effort should never be underestimated. Go Broncos!

  32. halfie6 says: Dec 18, 2011 12:12 AM

    playitfunky says:
    Dec 17, 2011 9:05 PM

    Not to mention the thin air screws up Brady’s timing and all his deep balls sail on him.

    ————————-

    Do you think it’s still 2007?. Go ahead and watch out for those mythical deep balls while Welker and Gronk eat you up underneath.

  33. vincentbojackson says: Dec 18, 2011 12:20 AM

    A 3-4 QB is a quarterback that throws 3-4 yard checkdown passes and gets all the credit when Welker and Gronk turn it into 65 yard TD’s.

  34. der6495 says: Dec 18, 2011 12:58 AM

    I wonder if Ventrone keeps all the paperwork from being signed/cut/practice squad/re-signed all 174 times throughout the season.

  35. Andre's Johnson says: Dec 18, 2011 2:50 AM

    I think he means “three or four” QB’s.

    Or at least I hope he does. Otherwise, that “breath in, breath out” thing makes more sense.

    Something tells me Mr. Funky’s using his parents’ computer without permission again.

  36. elmaxoh says: Dec 18, 2011 9:21 AM

    Use Danny Woodhead !

  37. CKL says: Dec 18, 2011 9:48 AM

    Bleepity bleep…I was hoping they would have Chung & Spikes back for this game especially. They’re thumpers and thumpers will be needed today. Dang. :(

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