Notebook: Injuries Having An Impact

Tom Brady hasn't been himself since coming back from knee injury. Jerod Mayo hasn't been on the field until Sunday and Matt Light may be out for a while. The injury factor is affecting these Patriots already.

Shouldering The Blame
QB Tom Brady placed most of the blame on his shoulders for Sunday's loss, particularly after missing a wide-open Wes Welker with an awful throw in the fourth quarter and later fumbling in the closing minutes with one more chance to win the game.

The miscue to Welker was extremely uncharacteristic. On third down, Welker got open over the middle, but Brady's throw hit the receiver in the foot.

"It was poor execution," Brady said. "He was expecting me to do something (different) and I was expecting him to do something different. We've just got to get on the same page."

Mayo Back In The Middle
--LB Jerod Mayo made a positive impact in his early return from a knee injury, forcing a fumble in the opening quarter of Sunday's loss.

"It was just a tackle," Mayo said. "I really wanted the 'W,' so I'm not feeling too good right now."

Nonetheless, he's just happy to be back on the field, and the Patriots are equally happy to have him.

"It felt good to get back out there with the guys," Mayo said. "We're like a family. Before, (just) watching, I felt like I was at my brother's house."

Light's Out
--The Patriots will closely monitor the status of LT Matt Light, who left the fourth quarter of Sunday's game with a right knee injury and did not return.

Coach Bill Belichick offered no update on Light's status during Monday's conference call.

PLAYER NOTES
--RB Sammy Morris did a nice job filling in for the injured Fred Taylor, averaging 4 yards per carry and catching three passes for 39 yards.
--LB Tully Banta-Cain made several big plays in Sunday's loss, including a tackle for a loss in the fourth quarter that helped send the game to overtime.
--S Brandon Meriweather might've cost the team a chance to stop Denver on its game-tying drive by picking up a taunting penalty that set up Denver with an automatic first down inside the 10-yard line.
--G Logan Mankins made a foolish mistake with an unnecessary roughness penalty in the first half and also got beat on the strip-sack by Vonnie Holliday in the fourth quarter that killed the Patriots' last-chance scoring drive.
--WR Joey Galloway was a healthy scratch for the second week in a row, perhaps a sign that he's being phased out of the offense. Either way, there's no chance for Galloway to make an impact from the sideline, so his season continues to be a disappointment.


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