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Haynesworth's status still up in air

By Monique Walker
Globe Staff / October 8, 2011

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FOXBOROUGH - Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth strolled through the locker room yesterday ready for another day of practice.

He chatted briefly with owner Robert Kraft before putting on his pads. A back injury has limited Haynesworth in practice and has forced him to miss the last two games, but he appears to be inching closer to returning.

Haynesworth and tight end Aaron Hernandez (knee) are among seven Patriots listed as questionable for tomorrow’s game against the Jets.

There couldn’t be a better week for Haynesworth to return to the lineup.

“We’ll see where we’re at with Albert,’’ coach Bill Belichick said. “I think he can definitely help us. He’s a versatile guy. He can play the run, he can rush the passer, he’s a physical guy, he’s a good athlete. We just have to see how all that plays out and what he’s able to do. He hasn’t played for a couple of weeks. He was able to get on the field [Thursday]. Maybe it’s this week, maybe it’s not. We’ll just have to wait and see.’’

Both Haynesworth and Hernandez were limited at practice Thursday when the Patriots held a full-pads practice. That was the first practice of the week for Haynesworth and the first for Hernandez since he injured his knee against the Chargers in Week 2.

When players return to practice, Belichick said the assessment of their progress really begins with the second day.

“I think the first day back is always - of course it’s good to see him back out there the first day,’’ Belichick said. “Then the question really is the second day. Was that too much? Do they need to back off a little bit? Was that something that they could easily handle? Then we’re able to escalate the workload and the stress, whatever the injury is.

“If that second day goes good, that’s probably a good indication that the player is ready to move up. If it doesn’t, if it levels off or if it starts to stress whatever the injury is, then the medical people will back him off a little bit until we’re able to raise through that and get up to a higher level. A number of opportunities and a little bit of time to evaluate the situation is what you need. It’s hard to do that based on one look.’’

The report is in Along with Haynesworth and Hernandez, defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion), safety Josh Barrett (thumb/hamstring), cornerbacks Leigh Bodden (groin) and Ras-I Dowling (hip), and defensive lineman Kyle Love (ankle) are all questionable.

Wide receiver Julian Edelman (ankle), running back Danny Woodhead (ankle), linebacker Jerod Mayo (knee), and offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer (back) are all doubtful.

The Patriots removed corner Kyle Arrington and linebacker Gary Guyton from the report.

Fines all around Patriots safety Patrick Chung was fined $7,500 for a late hit in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 31-19 win against the Raiders, according to a league source. The hit led to an unnecessary roughness penalty.

On the other side, Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour was fined a total of $15,000 for two incidents in the first quarter. He was fined $7,500 for tossing Tom Brady to the ground after the play and was flagged for roughing the passer.

Later in the drive, Seymour grabbed the facemask of BenJarvus Green-Ellis to earn another fine of $7,500.

Price says he’s right Wide receiver Taylor Price, who has been rehabbing a hamstring injury, said he is nearly 100 percent.

He was active for the first time this season against the Raiders but did not play.

“It felt good to finally get out there and warm up and see how my hamstring felt,’’ Price said. “And I was able to be out there and root the team on and now I’m ready to get out there and contribute and get on the field and play.’’

Price’s value may have risen if Edelman is unable to play. If that’s the case, Price likely would fill in on kick returns.

Wherever the Patriots need him, Price said he is ready to go.

“I feel good,’’ Price said. “I’ve had a good week of practice and a good week of preparation and I look forward to being able to get out there on Sunday and getting at it.’’

Slot games How do you stop Wes Welker? He leads the league with his 40 receptions and 616 yards, and Jets coach Rex Ryan hasn’t given up any secrets this week. But Welker said he has to expect almost anything from the Jets.

“You really don’t know what you’re going to see until you get to the game,’’ Welker said. “You prepare for everything and make sure you’re caught up on everything they’ve done to other teams and yourself and from there you just kind of roll with it. You see what’s new and you adjust to it.’’

If the Jets go as far as to send cornerback Darrelle Revis his way, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

“[Revis] has actually played in the slot a little bit,’’ Welker said. “I think we’ve cut up about 600 snaps between last year and this year where he’s in the slot. I don’t think it’s anything different from what they do. We’ll just see how it plays out.’’

Different tune Wide receiver Deion Branch said he has moved on from comments he made after the Jets beat the Patriots in the playoffs. Branch said a few of the Jets players were classless in how they reacted after the game.

Yesterday, Branch said he isn’t holding any hard feelings.

“All that stuff is in the past,’’ he said. “I spoke to those guys, you know, I’m on refresh, man. Everything is good. It’s just all about going out and playing football on Sunday.’’

Back on waves The Patriots re-signed defensive back Josh Victorian to the practice squad yesterday, filling the spot vacated by running back Eric Kettani, who had to report for active duty with the Navy.

Kettani petitioned to leave the Navy to pursue his career with the Patriots, but the request was declined. But the process will continue. If something should change with Kettani’s status, the Patriots could bring him back, Belichick said.

Monique Walker can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @monwalker.

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