Mycophenolic Acid

By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — They might not have come right out and said it, mycophenolic acid but the Patriots were fully aware of the attention given to the Houston Texans and their preference for play-action passes on offense.

So when quarterback Tom Brady perfectly sold a handoff the second time the Patriots had the ball, mycophenolic acid receiver Brandon Lloyd never broke stride, mycophenolic acid blowing past the Texans who bit on the run possibility. Mycophenolic acid He caught Brady’s pass without a defender near him, mycophenolic acid coasting into the end zone and pushing the Patriots’ lead to 14-0 in a game they would win handily, mycophenolic acid 42-14, mycophenolic acid Monday night at Gillette Stadium.

“That was definitely a scheme play, mycophenolic acid” Lloyd said. Mycophenolic acid “We worked hard on that all week, mycophenolic acid and when the opportunity presented itself, mycophenolic acid Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it at the right time and we were able to take advantage of it.”

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, mycophenolic acid catching seven passes for 89 yards, mycophenolic acid his second-highest total of the season.

He scored two touchdowns, mycophenolic acid the second coming on a fumble recovery in the end zone, mycophenolic acid after Danny Woodhead lost the ball on a screen pass. Mycophenolic acid The ball bounced forward, mycophenolic acid with Lloyd diving on it. Mycophenolic acid Not how it’s drawn up, mycophenolic acid but the way the night went.

“Just a screen pass, mycophenolic acid we do our best to block downfield, mycophenolic acid and unfortunately the ball popped out, mycophenolic acid” Lloyd said. Mycophenolic acid “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

Since the start of the season, mycophenolic acid the Patriots’ depth chart on the offensive line read more like a wish list than a realistic starting lineup, mycophenolic acid with an assortment of injuries resulting in five different combinations.

For the first time in a month, mycophenolic acid and just the sixth time this season, mycophenolic acid the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, mycophenolic acid Logan Mankins at left guard, mycophenolic acid Ryan Wendell at center, mycophenolic acid Dan Connolly at right guard, mycophenolic acid and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

The group was made whole again with the return of Mankins, mycophenolic acid who had missed three consecutive games — and five of six — with ankle and calf injuries. Mycophenolic acid He was back at practice last week, mycophenolic acid in a limited role, mycophenolic acid but was in the starting lineup Monday night, mycophenolic acid relegating Donald Thomas to reserve status.

Another key starter also returned from injury, mycophenolic acid with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, mycophenolic acid back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. Mycophenolic acid The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, mycophenolic acid defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, mycophenolic acid safety Derrick Martin, mycophenolic acid and fullback James Develin, mycophenolic acid who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Mycophenolic acid 28, mycophenolic acid but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

The Patriots made the expected move official roughly three hours before kickoff, mycophenolic acid activating Brandon Bolden to the 53-man roster and making him eligible to play against the Texans after the running back served a four-game suspension.

Bolden, mycophenolic acid a rookie from Mississippi, mycophenolic acid was suspended by the NFL on Nov. Mycophenolic acid 9 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Mycophenolic acid He hadn’t played since Oct. Mycophenolic acid 14 at Seattle, mycophenolic acid when he injured a knee against the Seahawks. Mycophenolic acid The injury cost him two games, mycophenolic acid then the suspension added four more.

With 234 yards on 43 carries, mycophenolic acid Bolden came into the Texans game with the second-most rushing yards for the Patriots, mycophenolic acid and his 5.4-yard average led the team. Mycophenolic acid Stevan Ridley has been the workhorse since Bolden was forced out, mycophenolic acid gaining 486 yards in the six games Bolden missed.

Bolden declined interview requests Saturday, mycophenolic acid the first time he had been spotted in the locker room since the suspension was announced. Mycophenolic acid But he was ready to talk after the game, mycophenolic acid in which he played on special teams and got two late carries for 11 yards.

“Felt good, mycophenolic acid” Bolden said. Mycophenolic acid “Missing four weeks, mycophenolic acid you try not to get out of shape, mycophenolic acid you keep yourself active, mycophenolic acid it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

“It was a mistake. Mycophenolic acid Saddened that it happened, mycophenolic acid but the team kept going, mycophenolic acid so just got to keep moving forward, mycophenolic acid” Bolden said. Mycophenolic acid “Worked as hard as I could for as long as I could, mycophenolic acid make sure I don’t fall too far off.”

Turning their way

Devin McCourty’s end-zone interception on Houston’s second offensive series of the game extended the Patriots’ streak of forcing at least one turnover to 24 games. Mycophenolic acid The last team to force at least one turnover in every regular-season game was the 2010 Atlanta Falcons.

With the interception, mycophenolic acid the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, mycophenolic acid one behind the Chicago Bears. Mycophenolic acid Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

“We know we have a good defense here, mycophenolic acid we’ve played really well the last couple of weeks, mycophenolic acid” McCourty said. Mycophenolic acid “The biggest focus for us is just trying to build on that.”

Even when the Patriots fumbled the bounces went their way. Mycophenolic acid Ridley lost the ball on the Patriots’ first drive of the game, mycophenolic acid inside the Texans’ 5-yard-line, mycophenolic acid but Aaron Hernandez jumped on it to extend the drive. Mycophenolic acid On the next play, mycophenolic acid Hernandez caught a 7-yard touchdown pass.



Early in the fourth quarter, mycophenolic acid Woodhead fumbled after catching a screen pass and being hit from behind by J.J. Mycophenolic acid Watt. Mycophenolic acid The ball flew into the end zone, mycophenolic acid with Lloyd diving on it for an unlikely touchdown.

Handing out Hall passes

If you’re a Patriots fan who’s never been to Canton, mycophenolic acid Ohio, mycophenolic acid and visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame, mycophenolic acid Canton is coming to you this week. Mycophenolic acid Well, mycophenolic acid at least it’s coming to Foxborough. Mycophenolic acid In recognition of the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary, mycophenolic acid the busts of the five former Patriots who have been enshrined — John Hannah, mycophenolic acid Andre Tippett, mycophenolic acid Nick Buoniconti, mycophenolic acid Mike Haynes, mycophenolic acid and Curtis Martin — will be on display at the Hall at Patriot Place.

The weeklong celebration will culminate with Sunday night’s home game against the San Francisco 49ers, mycophenolic acid with Tippett, mycophenolic acid Haynes, mycophenolic acid and Martin serving as honorary captains.

Secondary injuries

One downside to the Patriots’ victory was injuries to the defensive secondary. Mycophenolic acid The Patriots announced injuries to Aqib Talib (hip) and Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring). Mycophenolic acid Neither returned to the game after getting injured . Mycophenolic acid . Mycophenolic acid . Mycophenolic acid With Julian Edelman out for the season with a foot injury, mycophenolic acid Wes Welker took over the Patriots’ punt return duties. Mycophenolic acid He returned four for 50 yards, mycophenolic acid with a long of 31 . Mycophenolic acid . Mycophenolic acid . Mycophenolic acid Welker also caught three passes, mycophenolic acid pushing his streak of consecutive regular-season games with a catch to 107 . Mycophenolic acid . Mycophenolic acid . Mycophenolic acid Donte Stallworth made the most of his return to the Patriots. Mycophenolic acid He caught only one pass from Brady, mycophenolic acid but the catch-and-run went for 63 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter, mycophenolic acid making it 28-0. Mycophenolic acid It was a case of practice makes perfect, mycophenolic acid even if the practice had been a while ago. Mycophenolic acid “That particular play is something we had worked on, mycophenolic acid even in the spring, mycophenolic acid’’ he said. Mycophenolic acid “It was just an opportunity where they were kind of flat-footed and it gave me an opportunity to run by the guy and Tommy made a great throw. Mycophenolic acid He put it up for me to catch it and that’s what I did.’’ . Mycophenolic acid . Mycophenolic acid . Mycophenolic acid His team off until Wednesday, mycophenolic acid Celtics coach Doc Rivers was spotted on the sideline observing pregame warmups, mycophenolic acid wearing a Patriots red sweater and chatting up his Patriots counterpart, mycophenolic acid Bill Belichick. Mycophenolic acid Also in on the conversation: Boston sports fan Mark Wahlberg. Mycophenolic acid Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was also at the game, mycophenolic acid wearing a No. Mycophenolic acid 83 Patriots jersey . Mycophenolic acid . Mycophenolic acid . Mycophenolic acid The Patriots extended their December winning streak to 13 games, mycophenolic acid dating to a 22-21 loss at Miami on Dec. Mycophenolic acid 6, mycophenolic acid 2009. Mycophenolic acid It ties the Patriots for the second-longest such streak with the Dallas Cowboys, mycophenolic acid who accomplished the feat from 1968-72. Mycophenolic acid The record belongs to the San Diego Chargers, mycophenolic acid winners of 18 straight from 2006-09. Mycophenolic acid New England also has won 21 straight games in the second half of the regular season. Mycophenolic acid The Patriots went 8-0 in the second half of 2010, mycophenolic acid 8-0 in 2011, mycophenolic acid and have won their first five this season. Mycophenolic acid The last loss from the back half of the schedule came in the regular-season finale in 2009, mycophenolic acid when the Patriots lost at Houston, mycophenolic acid 34-27 … In a pre-game Twitter message, mycophenolic acid self-described Patriots fan Donald Trump posted, mycophenolic acid “Good Luck to Bob Kraft, mycophenolic acid Tom Brady and Coach Bob Belichick tonight.” Needless to say, mycophenolic acid the Donald got plenty of unwanted attention for his fumble . Mycophenolic acid . Mycophenolic acid . Mycophenolic acid Keep an eye out for Jerod Mayo on Tuesday. Mycophenolic acid He’ll be joining Subway spokesman Jared Fogle during multiple appearances around town, mycophenolic acid thanking unassuming fans with a dozen acts of kindness.

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Mycophenolic acid Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

Source: http://bostonglobe.com/sports/2012/12/11/logan-mankins-returns-makes-patriots-line-whole/A1Xtp2mNJfSRC0vUxtSlUI/story.html