Feeling left out
Linebacker Dane Fletcher was in the locker room Thursday. The third-year player, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the preseason, was placed on season-ending injured reserve, and finds himself on the outside looking in as the Patriots prepare for the postseason.
It can, at times, make Fletcher — who made five starts last season and had 32 tackles — feel a bit left out. But he has been a regular at the stadium, rehabilitating and trying to make sure he’ll be ready for next season.
“I’m kind of glad they put me on injured reserve,” Fletcher said. “That way I didn’t rush back and reinjure myself or something.”
To the limits
Thursday’s practice report for the Patriots was identical to Wednesday’s: 20 players listed, all with limited availability. There were two changes to the Texans report: cornerback Alan Ball (foot) practiced, one day after sitting out, and tight end Garrett Graham, suffering from a concussion, participated fully . . . Defensive end J.J. Watt is the Texans’ most well-known player on defense, likely followed by Joseph, Glover Quin, then maybe Danieal Manning and Connor Barwin. But Brooks Reed? He has caught the eye of Patriots tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, who compares him to another famous linebacker. “I see a little bit of a Clay Matthews-type player. Very talented, very explosive,” Hoomanawanui said.
Zuri Berry of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.