New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is known for being hard on his players, even his superstars. That point was reinforced this week when Belichick sent top cornerback Darrelle Revis home for arriving late to the team facilities on Tuesday.
This isn't the first time the Patriots have sent players home for tardiness. When a Northeastern snowstorm delayed Randy Moss, Adalius Thomas, Gary Guyton, and Derrick Burgess in December 2009, Belichick refused the foursome entry into practice. When Brandon Spikes showed up late to a team meeting as the result of a different snowstorm, New England also placed linebacker on injured reserve. Spikes subsequently called his time with the Patriots "4 years a slave" on social media. Revis hasn't received that level of discipline, but he likely knows that he cannot show up late again for any reason.
Calvin Johnson returns to practice
Despite a 5-2 start, the Detroit Lions have floundered on offense. Their efforts haven't been helped by the fact superstar receiver Calvin Johnson missed the past two games with an ankle injury. Though it remains unclear whether he'll play this weekend, Johnson did participate in practice for the first time since the injury.
While practicing is a major step towards returning to the field, Johnson participation was limited and took place during the portion closed to the media. The receiver has previously stated that he will not play until he feels 100 percent recovered. The team remains optimistic that he gets there in time for their game in London Sunday morning.
Erik Walden rebukes fine for contacting referee
Luke Kuechly wasn't the only linebacker ejected in Week 7 for contacting a referee. The other, Erik Walden of the Indianapolis Colts, earned his ouster during the second quarter of his team's game with the Cincinnati Bengals. For his actions, the league issued a $27,562 fine. Walden disagrees with the fine, calling it "nonsense."
This isn't the first time Walden has been punished by the league. Last November, the NFL fined and suspended the linebacker for head butting Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker. Walden was also accused of domestic violence during his time with the Green Bay Packers, but charges were never filed.
NFL already exploring possibility of London franchise
It's been widely speculated that part of the NFL's motive in playing regular season games in London such as Sunday's Lions-Falcons tilt was to eventually place a team there. According to Lions president Tom Lewand, the league has indeed begun evaluating the logistics of a UK franchise.
Lewand notes the challenges associated with an overseas team such as travel fatigue and odd kickoff times that can be difficult for teams on the West Coast. This week's London game begins at 6:30 a.m. PT. Still, the NFL is intent on figuring out a way to make it a reality, believing the move could net the shield billions of dollars.