6:26 p.m. EDT: Having never traveled to a game at Gillette Stadium, I didn’t know what to expect.
We drove down narrow streets through neighborhoods for a while, looking at countless colonial style homes. Then we made a right-hand turn, and suddenly the stadium was right in front of us.
It’s quite a unique location. People living in the nearby neighborhoods have the shortest of walks to the game.
Now the stadium lights are on as the sun has set, and players have slowly begun to make their way out on the field for their early warmups.
I’m about to head down with Jake Grilley to take some pregame photos, but first a quick bit of news — the Patriots have placed running back Laurence Maroney on injured reserve.
7:35 p.m. EDT: And now for some pictures from the pregame warmups…
7:37 p.m. EDT: I just got Denver’s inactives for tonights game.
Brandon Stokley, Selvin Young, Ryan Torain, John Engelberger, Erik Pears, Tony Scheffler and Nic Clemons will not suit up tonight.
Josh Shaw has been placed on the reserve/suspended list.
7:37 p.m. EDT: And for tonight’s game, Michael Pittman is expected to start for Young. Ebenezer Ekuban is expected to start for Engelberger.
7:48 p.m. EDT: Kickoff is still 40 minutes away, but one thing is already for sure — this place plays the best pregame music of any stadium that we’ve been to yet in 2008.
Everything from Pearl Jam to the Black Crowes to The Who. Throw in a little Johnny Cash and the Foo Fighters, and they’ve got it all — pretty much making up the entirety of Kyle Sonneman’s iPod playlist.
7:50 p.m. EDT: Brad Gee, one of our stellar PR interns who in lieu of an adult beverage ordered chocolate milk at the sports bar we visited last night, just handed me New England’s inactives.
WR Kelley Washington, CB Terrence Wheatley, RB LaMont Jordan, LB Eric Alexander, T Nick Kaczur, DL Jarvis Green and LB Shawn Crable will not take the field tonight.
Matt Gutierrez is the third quarterback.
And as we said earlier, Laurence Maroney has been placed on IR.
7:56 p.m. EDT: The players have suited up and are making their way out onto the fields for their final warmups.
The Patriots will wear their blue home jerseys with silver pants. The Broncos will wear all white tonight.
8:04 p.m. EDT: Anybody have an answer to this question?
Foxboro or Foxborough?
Online sources list both, and even searching for the city itself online can be problematic.
8:05 p.m. EDT: And in other NFL news, ESPN has just reported that Mike Nolan has been fired as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
8:18 p.m. EDT: Fans are beginning to pack the stadium as both teams head back into the locker room for the last time before kickoff.
More news from the Patriots’ bench..
The team signed CB Mike Richardson from the practice squad, activated G Stephen Neal from the PUP list and waived C Dan Connolly.
8:30 p.m. EDT: The national anthem has been sung, and both teams should take the field any minute. See y’all in the First Quarter Notes…