FOXBOROUGH, Mass. Vic Beasley Jr Jersey . -- For a guy who loves to talk on the field, New Englands Aqib Talib sure has been quiet lately. The Patriots cornerback injured his hip in the Patriots win against New Orleans on Oct. 13 and missed the next three games. He hadnt spoken after practice until Thursday, when he said hes eager to return to the field Monday night for New Englands game against the Carolina Panthers. "Im practicing good," Talib said, with a wide grin. "Day to day. Trying to get back." Fresh off the Patriots bye last week, Talib was a limited participant in Thursdays practice. Thats the same designation hes had for a while, and he said watching his teammates play without him was "the worst thing in the world." Coach Bill Belichick was more candid than usual when asked about the player who leads the team with four interceptions and whos been solely responsible for shutting down some of the leagues elite pass catchers. "Hes continued to progress. Well keep doing, as they can tolerate it, do more and evaluate how they do at a little bit higher level," Belichick said. "Then if that goes well, then ramp it up and see where we are as we go through the week." New Englands secondary withstood the absence of its top playmaker, going 2-1 during the stretch. The Patriots (7-2) could benefit from his return against the Panthers (6-3), who have won five straight games and scored 30 or more points in five of their past seven. "Unbelievable player, happy to have him on the field with us," said defensive end Rob Ninkovich. "I think the guys that stepped in when he was gone, they did a great job, but having him back is just going to help us as far as have more depth and keep guys rolling." Should Talib return for New Englands only Monday night game this season, he likely will be matched up with one of the most successful receivers of the past decade in Steve Smith. Talib, who spent his first four-plus seasons playing in the NFC South with Tampa Bay, is familiar with the flashy veteran. "He brings it every Sunday or Monday or whenever the game is," Talib said. "I think if youre competitive like that, youre going to be pretty successful." Smith has tallied more than 800 receptions and 11,000 yards in his career, and has a team-high 42 catches for 450 yards and three touchdowns this season. Talib knows exactly what to expect from Smith -- his best effort and a lot of chatter. "Youve got a lot of guys who do a lot of talking to (the media), and we get out there and they dont say too much on the field," Talib said. "But Steve is definitely one of those guys, hes going to do it on the field." Not unlike Talib. "Yeah," he said with a smile, "I say a couple words." Shadowing the oppositions top threat is becoming commonplace for Talib. Julio Jones was near the top of the league in every major category when Talib held him to a season-low six catches. He caught just three of his first 10 for 22 yards. The following week, Talibs talents helped limit Cincinnatis A.J. Green to five catches for 61 yards. Green now leads the league in yards and ranks second in receptions. And still to come was his premier performance, spearheading an effort to shut down New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham, who tops all receivers with 10 touchdowns but was held without a catch against New England for the first time in a span of 46 games. Belichick went so far as to compare Talib to former Patriots cornerback Ty Law. "Maybe Ty would be similar in that he was a good corner and you could put him on a lot of players and not maybe feel like you need to give him a lot of help," he said. "I think Talib is a guy that we have a lot of confidence in and probably would treat his matchups a little bit differently than weve treated some other ones in the past." Alex Mack Jersey . The Red Sox maintained a share of the AL wild-card lead Tuesday night, using four home runs to beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-7 and set up a dramatic conclusion to the regular season. The skidding Red Sox were 6-19 this month before rebounding to edge the last-place Orioles. Brett Favre Jersey . Sixteen teams have moved on. Sixteen teams have gone home. http://www.falconsapparelsshop.com/takkarist-mckinley-falcons-jersey-c-52/ . -- Felix Girard scored on the power play in the third period to lift the Baie-Comeau Drakkar past the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 4-3 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Friday. ARENBERG, France -- Reigning champion Chris Froome crashed twice and quit the Tour de France on Wednesday during a chaotic, nerve-jangling, filthy fifth stage full of spills. Froome fell even before the seven cobblestone patches on the slick road from Ypres, Belgium, to Arenberg-Porte du Hainaut in France. Riders had known months ago about the bone-jarring course; incessant rain made it even more treacherous. The withdrawal of the Team Sky leader left the race wide open with 16 stages still left. Overall race leader Vincenzo Nibali wasted little time in speeding ahead, notably after he saw that his other big rival for the title this year, two-time Tour victor Alberto Contador, had trouble on the second run on cobbles. Sensing the danger from the rain, race organizers scrapped two of the nine scheduled cobblestone patches, and reduced the stage by three kilometres (two miles). But that still wasnt enough to stop many riders from tumbling. Froome, already nursing pain in his left wrist from a crash on Tuesday, took his third and last spill in two days about halfway through the stage. With a cut under his right eye, the Team Sky leader limped over to a team car, climbed in, and drove away. Froome tweeted he was "devastated" to have to withdraw. "Injured wrist and tough conditions made controlling my bike near to impossible," he wrote. He wished luck to new Sky leader Richie Porte of Australia and his other teammates for the rest of the race. "Its devastating for Chris and for the team," Sky boss Dave Brailsford said. "We really believed in Chris and his ability to win this race. But its not to be this year. "When you have a day like today, when you have a setback, you have to roll ahead and go again, you have to recalibrate your goals. Richie Porte came on the Tour to be the team leader No. 2, and he showed great ability to ride the cobbles the way he did." The last time a defending champion abandoned the Tour was five-time winner Bernard Hinault of France in 1980, according to French cycling statistics provider Velobs.com. Nibali, too, was one oof several high-profile riders who crashed, recovered and excelled on the 152. Courtney Upshaw Jersey. 5-kilometre (95-mile) route. The Italian finished third and extended his lead. He and second-place Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark were 19 seconds behind stage winner Lars Boom of the Netherlands. "This is a special, special day for me," said Boom, who rides for Belkin Pro Cycling. "I was really looking forward to the cobblestones." Overall, Nibali leads Astana teammate Fuglsang by 2 seconds. Cannondale rider Peter Sagan of Slovakia was third, 44 seconds back. Contador, breathing hard under a mask of mud at the finish, lost about 2 1/2 minutes to Nibali: Hes 2:37 back, in 19th place. Skys Porte was eighth overall, 1:54 back, and Valverde was 10th, 2:11 behind. Svein Tuft of Langley, B.C., was tied for 99th in the stage, 13:51 off the lead. Christian Meier, also from Langley, was 15:23 off the pace in a tie for 117th. Tuft is 140th overall and Meier is 144th. Nibali expressed little reaction to Froomes pullout. "We have to be calm. The road to Paris is very long," he said. "Cycling is made of crashes, and we have to take that into account." Others who went down but kept going included Americans Andrew Talansky and Tejay van Garderen, Spains Alejandro Valverde, and Germanys Marcel Kittel, winner of three of the first four stages. In what was perhaps the days most visually dramatic crash, Belgiums Jurgen van den Broeck went hurtling over his handlebars in a bend on a cobblestone patch, and tumbled into a grassy roadside. While the chaos on the course raised questions about riding in such poor conditions -- critics in social media had a field day -- it made for great racing imagery: Many riders were caked in sloppy, wet mud on their faces and shins, their biceps jiggling as they held their handlebars. A mix of sweat, rain, mud and drool dropped from many chins. Many looked as if theyd ridden through a shower of chocolate pudding. The race heads to Champagne country on Thursday, with a mostly flat 194-kilometre (120-mile) run from Arras to Reims in Stage 6. 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