Beyond the stars: Patriots' Super Bowl stories extend to benchwarmers and practice-squad players

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SportsPulse: From Radio Row in Minnesota, our NFL insiders give the latest on Tom Brady’s hand, Rob Gronkowski’s head and the mental state of the Eagles.
USA TODAY Sports

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Super Bowl just days away, and Trevor Reilly, a linebacker currently on the practice squad of the New England Patriots, sits in a folding chair 15 feet from his locker. He’s alone, away from the laughter and conversations and interviews.

But there’s an outlet, and he needs to charge his phone before a team meeting starts in 20 minutes.

Most fans wouldn’t recognize Reilly, who was active for six games this season and started one. But when James Harrison became available late in the season, the Patriots swooped on the veteran pass rusher and released Reilly, later signing him to the practice squad.

Barring anything unforeseen, Reilly won’t play Sunday in Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“My family doesn’t even know,” Reilly tells USA TODAY Sports. “Here—”

He produces his phone and cues a text…

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