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The Journal Gazette

September 23, 2016 1:01 AM

Rookie leads Pats past Texans

Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Maybe Houston safety Andre Hal thought Jacoby Brissett would run out of bounds at the 5 in the first quarter of his first NFL start.

After all, with Tom Brady suspended and Jimmy Garoppolo injured, New England didn’t have any other quarter­backs on the roster to call upon if the 23-year-old rookie got hurt.

But Brissett, who broke free around the right side on a first-and-15 from the Houston 27, went untouched to the 5 before Hal appeared to have him cornered. Heading for the sideline, Brissett stutter-stepped and let the defender cut in front of him, then slipped through his grasp before diving for the end zone.

Brissett went on to complete 11 of 19 passes for 103 yards, and ran for 48 yards on eight carries for the Patriots on Thursday night as they took advantage of three Houston turnovers to beat the Texans 27-0. The 27-yard touchdown run was the longest for a Patriots quarterback since 1976.

New England improved to 3-0 without Brady, who has one game remaining on his “Deflategate” suspension.

Jeffery sits out

Top receiver Alshon Jeffery sat out Thursday’s practice because of a knee injury, meaning the Chicago Bears could be missing two of their most important players on offense when they visit Dallas on Sunday night.

With quarterback Jay Cutler’s status in doubt because of a sprained right thumb, the Bears (0-2) might also be without their No. 1 option at wide receiver.

Jeffery was unable to practice after participating on a limited basis the previous day.

As for Cutler, the Bears haven’t said he is out, though backup Brian Hoyer has been practicing with the first team. Cutler left Monday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Peterson has knee surgery

The Minnesota Vikings say Adrian Peterson underwent knee surgery for a torn meniscus, and no additional issues were found. The team called Peterson’s surgery successful.

He injured his right knee in Sunday night’s game against Green Bay.

The team gave no update on Peterson’s expected return in its statement on the surgery.

Around the league

Cleveland rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman does not need surgery on his broken hand, a small but sorely needed positive for the Browns. Coleman will miss at least one month after breaking his hand during practice Wednesday. Coleman does not need an operation but will need four to six weeks to recover. …

Jacksonville could be without starting center Brandon Linder against Baltimore on Sunday because of a sprained knee. Linder tweaked his right knee in practice Wednesday and was still in pain when he arrived at the facility Thursday. Neither Linder nor left tackle Kelvin Beachum practiced Thursday. Beachum remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol. …

New Orleans coach Sean Payton said cornerback P.J. Williams is expected to make a full recovery by this offseason from a traumatic blow to the head that occurred during Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. Williams was knocked unconscious when he absorbed a knee to the helmet during a collision with Giants tight end Larry Donnell.