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BIG GAME BEAT: Patriots’ family, friends arriving in Atlanta

Patriots media availability Atlanta McCourty twins

ATLANTA (WPRI) — Despite the abnormally cold temperatures in Atlanta, fans have been flocking to the city in droves to take part in the Super Bowl festivities.

On Thursday, family, friends and VIPs of the New England Patriots were seen arriving at the team’s hotel ahead of the Super Bowl.

With just days to go until the big game, both the Patriots and Los Angeles Rams hit the practice field for the first time on Wednesday, and did so again on Thursday as they put their respective game plans together.

Every Patriots player was a full participant Thursday except for starting linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who did not attend the workout due to an illness.

“We’ll evaluate him tomorrow,” head coach Bill Belichick said when asked about Hightower’s prognosis.

Defensive tackle Malcom Brown, who was a limited participant in practice Wednesday, was a full participant in practice on Thursday.

“If something happens tomorrow, that will be a different story, but I’d say he looks alright,” Belichick said.

Eyewitness Sports spoke to some of the Patriots’ defensive players, who said their focus right now is on containing Rams running backs Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson.

“They both can run, they both can catch, they both can get out of the backfield,” safety Patrick Chung said. “You’ve kind of got to play them the same, because they’re both ver talented and very versatile in what they do.”

“Both of them have great vision and are great at the cut-back,” Hightower added. “A lot of times they’re forcing those arm tackles, and two strong guys like that will run through arm tackles.”

“I’m sure a lot of their plays are the same for both guys,” Belichick said. “Do they run them the same? There are some similarities, I think there are some differences. Again, we need to know those differences.”

Big Game Headlines

Behind the Scenes: An inside look at the TV production for the Big Game »

Mural pays tribute to Patriots ahead of Super Bowl »

Tom Brady was competitive as a kid, hated losing »

First look at Super Bowl LIII tickets »

Double OT: Is the cold putting freeze on the Big Game festivities? »

Behind the Scenes: Making the cover of the official Super Bowl game book »


Pats Pride: New England Nation, Show Your Spirit

We know New England Nation is coming out in force today and through the weekend, so share your spirit and we can showcase it on air on and online and do our part as fans to help the hometeam on Sunday! 

Social Stream

The Eyewitness Sports team has a crew down in Atlanta covering The Big Game for New England Nation. Be sure to follow Yianni Kourakis, Ruthie Polinsky, Morey Hershgordon, and J.P. Smollins on Twitter and our New England Nation page on Facebook.


New England Nation has you covered all week leading up to the big game, and will have exclusive digital content each day from Atlanta.


New England Nation: Latest Headlines » | Double OT » | Special Big Game Coverage » | The Big Game »

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