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Report: Rob Gronkowski unlikely to play Sunday vs. Bengals

10.04.13 at 12:46 pm ET
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Multiple reports now indicate that it’s unlikely Rob Gronkowski will not play Sunday, marking the fifth straight week to open the season where he’ll be a no-go.

Both the Boston Herald and Pro Football Talk indicate that the big tight end, who underwent multiple surgeries on his forearm and back over the course of the offseason, isn’t likely to play Sunday against the Bengals in Cincinnati.

For his part, Gronkowski said Wednesday that he’s still “day-by-day,” but that he continues to improve.

”When I’m ready, I’m ready,” Gronkowski said. ”If it’s this Sunday, next Sunday, or the Sunday after, it’s just going day-by-day. So I really couldn’t tell you when it’s going to be, so it’s kind of hard to answer that. I’m just progressing every day, working hard every day and feeling better every day. I’m going out to practice and working as hard as I can — practicing with my teammates.”

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Bill Belichick discusses possibility of Austin Collie playing Sunday

10.04.13 at 12:22 pm ET
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Bill Belichick said new receiver Austin Collie “seems like a pretty smart guy,” which means he could be on the field sooner rather than later with the Patriots.

“I think probably what we’€™re doing are things he’€™s done before — just had different ways of calling it or terminology or that type of thing,” Belichick said on Friday. “We’€™ll see. We’€™ve had him on the field for one day, so we’€™ll see how it goes today.  We’€™ll kind of recall where he is and see where we’€™re at [Saturday] and make a decision. I don’€™t know.”

Collie signed with the Patriots on Thursday. The 27-year-old, a 6-foot, 204-pound wide receiver, has played four seasons in the NFL with the Colts. His best year came as a rookie in 2009 when he had 60 catches for 676 yards and seven touchdowns. Over the course of his career, he’€™s accumulated 163 catches for 1,845 yards and 16 touchdowns.

According to Belichick, he does bring some positional versatility to the field in that he’s played on both the inside and the outside. That versatility and smarts could mean he’d be able to get acclimated quicker and get on the field sooner than your average receiver. When it comes to getting up to speed in the system, you never know: Belichick said Friday when he was the head coach in Cleveland, there was an instance when they signed a player on a Tuesday and started him on Sunday.

“I don’€™t know, we’€™ll just have to see how it goes,” Belichick said. “We worked with him one day; we’€™ll see how it goes.”

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Video: ‘4th and Goal’ breaks down Patriots-Bengals

10.04.13 at 9:45 am ET
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WEEI’s Chris Price previews the Week 5 matchup between the  Patriots and the Bengals, and gives three points of emphasis for New England, as well as a prediction for the final score.


Fantasy Football: Week 5 starts, sits

10.04.13 at 9:13 am ET
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Welcome to the Week 5 starts and sits. As usual, I have tried to avoid the obvious choices. These are players that I like for the this week plus a few that I’€™d rather leave on the pine. If you are looking for more rankings or if you have questions about players not listed here, go to for our full weekly lineup rankings, which I update every Saturday. You can also stop by our Sunday morning chat right here at WEEI when I’€™ll be answering all of your lineup questions. Later today, Jim Hackett and I will doing our weekly podcast sponsored by Mohegan Sun.  You’€™ll be able to find that in our audio on demand section.



Philip Rivers, Chargers at Raiders

He’€™s been very good so far, with only Tennessee slowing him down at all. It’€™s hard to imagine the Raiders holding Rivers down. He makes a solid QB1 in any format in Week 5.

Jay Cutler, Bears vs. Saints

He may have been off in Week 4, but the fantasy numbers were still there. He should be better this week against the Saints. The Bears have enough diversity on offense to cope with New Orleans’€™ attacking defense.

Terrelle Pryor, Raiders vs. Chargers

His concussion symptoms have subsided and he’€™ll be let loose in this game as Oakland tries to keep up with the Chargers. Who wins?  Who knows, but there should be plenty of offense, and Pryor obviously scores points with his feet and his arm.

Sam Bradford, Rams vs. Jaguars

Things have been ugly for Bradford the last few weeks, but this looks like a get-well game to me. Expect better results from Bradford. He’€™s worth a start in most formats if you need him.


Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Patriots

The Patriots have enough talent to make Dalton work for his numbers. While Dalton is playable this week, I see more risk than usual. There are 17 better quarterbacks in the Rotobahn Week 5 rankings, so you may have a better option.

Carson Palmer, Cardinals vs. Panthers

The Panthers are a formidable defense, but the real problem is the inconsistencies with the Arizona offense, and Palmer is at the heart of those inconsistencies. Other issues include a struggling offensive line and ground game. Finally, don’€™t forget that Larry Fitzgerald is still nursing a tender hamstring and is less than full strength, though he will play. Palmer is a QB3 in my Week 5 rankings.

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Report: Gene Steratore will work as referee for Patriots-Bengals

10.04.13 at 7:15 am ET
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Gene Steratore will work as the referee for Sunday’s Patriots-Bengals game, according to our pals at Football Zebras.

The 50-year-old Steratore, who also works as a Division 1 men’s college basketball referee, has worked as an NFL official since 2003. His last assignment involving the Patriots came on Oct. 7, 2012 when he and his crew worked the Patriots-Broncos game, a 31-21 win for New England. He also served as an official for the 2011 divisional playoff between the Patriots and Denver at Gillette Stadium (a game where New England crushed Tim Tebow and the Broncos, 45-10), as well as the 2009 playoff contest in Foxboro where the Ravens stomped the Patriots, 33-14.

For more on Steratore’s history as an official. check out his page at Pro Football Reference.

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Mike Petraglia, Chris Price preview Patriots-Bengals

10.03.13 at 5:19 pm ET
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Stevan Ridley (knee) DNP while 15 others remain limited Thursday, Vontaze Burfict DNP for Bengals

10.03.13 at 5:08 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Danny Amendola (groin), Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm) and linebacker Jerod Mayo (ankle) were among 15 players limited at practice on Thursday in full pads while Stevan Ridley (knee), Matthew Slater (wrist) were the missing players as the Patriots continued preparations practice for the Bengals this Sunday in Cincinnati. Vince Wilfork went on season-ending injured reserve Thursday after his surgery on Tuesday to repair the Achilles tendon tear on Sunday night in Atlanta. He was removed from the injury report.

Vontaze Burfict (neck), the Bengals’ hard-hitting inside linebacker, joined defensive end Michael Johnson (concussion) and cornerbacks Leon Hall (hamstring) and Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring) as players not practicing on Thursday.

Here is Thursday’s complete report:

Did Not Practice
RB Stevan Ridley (knee)
ST Matthew Slater (wrist)

Limited Participation
WR Danny Amendola (groin)
DB Kyle Arrington (groin)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
CB Marquice Cole (hamsting)
WR Aaron Dobson (neck)
DB Nate Ebner (ankle)
TE Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm)
LB Dont’a Hightower (knee)
LB Jerod Mayo (ankle)
TE Zach Sudfeld (hamstring)
OL Will Svitek (knee)
WR Kenbrell Thompkins (shoulder)
OL Sebastian Vollmer (foot)
RB Leon Washington (thigh)
DB Tavon Wilson (hamstring)

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