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Patriots Notebook

Moss finds he's in a fine ($20K) mess

By Christopher L. Gasper
Globe Staff / November 10, 2008
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FOXBOROUGH - On a day when he moved up three spots on the NFL's all-time list to 17th with 817 receptions, wide receiver Randy Moss was in no mood to talk about it. Perhaps that was because the last time he spoke after a game it cost him $20,000.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that Moss was fined $20,000 by the league for comments he made regarding the officiating following the Patriots' 18-15 loss to the Colts last Sunday night.

How Moss, who had five catches for 53 yards but took some big hits in the Patriots' 20-10 win over the Bills yesterday, felt about receiving the fine is anybody's guess because he wasn't available after the game.

But chances are he's not too happy, considering his comments were fairly innocuous.

In fact, Moss started his comments last week by saying, "This is one of those funny games where you really got to watch what you say because fines will be out on Wednesday, so I'll leave it at that."

But he didn't leave it at that, answering another question with a response that included saying there were some "real iffy calls out there."

"I think a lot of guys are really down just for the fact that you let a game like this slip," said Moss. "Like I said earlier, when things happen you got to watch what you say. Guys don't want to get fined.

"There were some real iffy calls out there, and it's just some of the things that you wished wouldn't have happened. Good calls and bad calls are part of the game, so you got to live and die with them."

Aiello confirmed it was the "iffy calls" characterization that drew the league's attention - and apparently ire.

Thomas hurts arm
Outside linebacker Adalius Thomas was forced to leave in the second quarter with an arm injury. He did not return and was replaced by Pierre Woods. According to ESPN, Thomas suffered a broken left forearm.

The team had no update on Thomas's status after the game, but his loss for an extended period would be another setback for the Patriots, who already are playing without safety Rodney Harrison (out for the season with a torn quad) on defense.

"I don't want to speculate," said defensive end Richard Seymour, who tied Thomas for the team lead in sacks (5) by getting one on the Bills' first possession. "Obviously, he didn't come back into the game and that's never a good thing.

"It will be a big loss for us if he's not out there because he brings a lot to the team, as far as being out in coverage, being able to rush the passer, and doing a lot of different things for us."

Record for Welker
Wide receiver Wes Welker set an NFL record by starting the season with nine straight games with six catches or more. Welker had 10 catches for a season-high 107 yards, his first 100-yard receiving effort of the season.

He seemed more excited about that accomplishment and the Patriots' win than the somewhat obscure receiving record.

"I didn't know that," he said. "It's good to finally get over the century mark in a game, and any time you do that and move the chains and win the game, it's a good deal."

Tired of questions
Coach Bill Belichick did not respond kindly to a question about not being able to rest his starters during the fourth quarter against the Bills to prepare them for Thursday's game with the Jets.

Belichick seemed incredulous at the line of questioning and then gave a forceful and somewhat irascible answer that may find its way into future television commercials.

"We are trying to win the game," said Belichick. "We are trying to beat the Buffalo Bills - they are a good football team. They [were] 5-3. We are trying to win the game. We are not trying to rest anybody. It is the Buffalo Bills. They are 5-3. We are playing for first place. You don't rest when you are playing for first place."

A busy debut
The Patriots wasted no time throwing cornerback Jason Webster into the mix. Webster, who was signed Wednesday, played in the slot in the team's nickel (five-defensive back) package in place of rookie Jonathan Wilhite and second-year man Mike Richardson and also contributed on special teams. Cornerback Terrence Wheatley, who suffered a left wrist injury against the Colts, was inactive . . . Russ Hochstein replaced Stephen Neal at right guard in the second half. The team said Neal's absence was not injury-related . . . Running back LaMont Jordan sat out his fifth straight game with a right calf injury; Sammy Morris (knee) missed his third straight game. Morris, a brace over his left knee, was seen on the field hours before kickoff as he sprinted and cut under the supervision of the training and strength and conditioning staff.

Christopher L. Gasper can be reached at cgasper@globe.com; Mike Reiss of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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