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Morning links: Can Kyle Van Noy help the Patriots' pass rush? Did Alex Smith suffer a concussion?

Matt Dolloff of CBS Boston looks at if Kyle Van Noy can help the pass rush for the New England Patriots.

After talking about the Patriots' lack of pressure on the quarterback, Dolloff writes, "That could be where newcomer Kyle Van Noy could help. Regarded as a good pass rushing prospect out of BYU, the 2014 second-round draft pick was a disappointment in his first two-plus seasons with the Detroit Lions, registering just one sack in 30 NFL games."

Dolloff then looks at the numbers before getting back to Van Noy, saying, "It’s fair to be confident that Belichick can bring the best out of Van Noy, but there’s also the distinct possibility that the former Lion makes little-to-no contributions to the defense as a whole, let alone the pass rush. Still, there’s a recent precedent for Belichick in improving the team’s defensive pressure through the installation of former castoffs or second-round picks mid-season."

Alex Smith doesn't have a concussion

Frank Schwab of Yahoo! Sports' The Shutdown Corner took a look at former Utah quarterback Alex Smith's possible concussion from Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Schwab writes, "There was an interesting spin on the concussion, or maybe two concussions, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith seemed to suffer on Sunday."

Schwab then looks at the hits on Smith, saying, "On Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, Smith took two huge hits as he was sliding. On the first, he got up and appeared to be unstable on his feet. He went back to the locker room and was examined and allowed to come back to the game. He cleared the concussion protocol, although the Chiefs said he had a cut on his ear."

After talking about concussion protocol and whether the hits were dirty, Schwab continued, "While it seemed like Smith was concussed, medical professionals feel he wasn’t. It’s not like there’s an X-ray that determines if there’s a concussion, so it leads to speculation. Many on Twitter immediately wondered if Smith, who lost his job with the San Francisco 49ers due to a concussion, could be hiding something. It’s all very unclear, and the NFL’s mishandling of concussions in the past makes everyone skeptical."

Jay Yeomans is a sports writer for Contact him at