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FOXBOROUGH — When the Patriots earning one of the AFC’s top two seeds for the postseason and the accompanying bye came up, invariably the benefit of getting a banged-up team some much-needed rest was part of the discussion.
Nowhere was downtime more needed than in the secondary. At safety, Steve Gregory has dealt with a broken thumb and then a knee injury suffered against Baltimore, and Devin McCourty suffered a concussion against the Ravens. And at cornerback, Aqib Talib hurt his hip against New Orleans, Kyle Arrington (groin) has been on and off the report nearly the entire season, and Alfonzo Dennard has been bothered by a knee problem.