|Tom Brady says Rob Gronkowski injury ‘tough news for everybody’ but train doesn’t ‘stop for anybody’||12.02.16 at 2:33 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Tom Brady has been down this road before.
He’s lost his favorite tight end target to injury in 2012, 2013, last season and even one time already this season. So when the news that Rob Gronkowski would be lost for the rest of the regular season and likely until the Super Bowl, Brady tried to keep a philosophical “next-man-up” attitude.
“That was tough news to hear for everybody because he’s such a big part of our team and what we do and his enthusiasm and energy for the game and what he means to us on the field because he’s such a great player and the kind of leader he is off the field and in the locker room,” Brady said Friday. “It’s a tough loss but we’ve still got a big challenge ahead and we’re going to try to do the best we can do. We’ve got a lot of good players and we’ll be focused on what our job is, which this week is a big test playing the Rams, their defense and what they can do. Everyone is going to have to step their game up.”
Brady admitted that seeing Gronkowski need a third back surgery hits him as a person first and then a teammate.
“He’s been through a lot over the years and he always comes back strong with a great attitude and a great mindset,” Brady said. “I think that’s what everybody expects from him. He’s a great guy. He’s a great teammate. He’s a great friend. He’s a tough guy. He always battles back. And we’ll keep battling without him. We’ve got a lot of tough guys in the locker room, still. See if we can make it a season. We’re off to a good start. We’ve got to keep it going. This is the time of year where we have to play our best football.”
Now Brady must turn to the likes of Martellus Bennett, Malcolm Mitchell, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and running backs Dion Lewis and James White to pick up the slack in the passing game.
FOXBORO — What’s the very latest on the Rob Gronkowski injury? How are the Patriots responding? WEEI’s Mike Petraglia and Ryan Hannable have the very latest inside Gillette Stadium.
|Bill Belichick sheds little light on Rob Gronkowski: ‘We’ve talked about everything we can talk about here’||at 10:34 am ET|
FOXBORO — When the Patriots and the family of Rob Gronkowski issued a joint statement Thursday night about the status of the star tight end, it was the document that gave Bill Belichick the reference point he needed to answer all questions.
In his weekly Friday morning press conference at Gillette, Belichick made the most of it.
“Obviously, we’re all disappointed,” Belichick noted in his opening remarks before taking questions. “Nobody’s worked harder than Rob and been a better teammate and all that. So hopefully things will work out positively as possible with him. All the information we gave you, really that’s all we have for now. I’m sure there’ll be more coming in as we go through the next few days. Just take it as it comes. It’s an unfortunate situation for him. That being said, we’re turning our attention to the Rams.”
Then the questions began:
Are you fortunate to have Martellus Bennett to help fill the void? “Happy to have all the players we have.”
With the loss of Gronkowski and his contributions, how big a blow is this to the team? “Again, we appreciate all our players.”
But Gronkowski has meant so much: “You want to rank them. They’re all important. They’re all important. Rob’s a great player. They’re all important.”
Might the Patriots look outside the organization for depth? “We’ll always do what we feel is best for the football team.”
|Mike Petraglia, Ryan Hannable talk Rob Gronkowski, Jets, Butt-Fumble memories and Turkey||11.23.16 at 11:16 am ET|
FOXBORO — What could the Patriots possibly fear this weekend at MetLife Stadium against the 3–7 Jets? WEEI’s Mike Petraglia and Ryan Hannable discuss inside Gillette Stadium.
|As Rob Gronkowski heals, Bill Belichick explains the science of traveling an injured player across the country||11.18.16 at 10:37 am ET|
FOXBORO — The likelihood Rob Gronkowski and his injured torso makes the cross country trek to the Bay Area to take on the 49ers is slim-to-none.
Just in case, Gronkowski did have his equipment bag packed in front of his locker when the media was allowed in the locker room at 6:45 Friday morning. And Gronkowski did walk by and greet Tom Brady before team meetings.
But making the jump from classroom attendance to playing in an NFL game a week after a serious chest injury is risky at best.
Bill Belichick takes everything into consideration when traveling his team from one end of the country to the other. Without mentioning Gronkowski by name Friday, the coach said player injury and availability is right near the top of the list of his priorities.
“I think it could have a lot to do with it. It would depend on what the player’s individual situation was,” Belichick said. “It’s certainly a lot different than being at home where you could literally wait until an hour and a half before the game and make your decision on the player. I don’t think there’s a lot of downside. We’ve certainly had discussions in the past if the player has, whatever his particular condition is, if we think it’s probably less than 50-50 that he would be able to play.
“Again, if we were playing at home it would be a bit of a different situation. If we feel like it’s probably a long shot if you will, then do we really want to put him on the plane for five hours? Do we really think that after all that the swelling is going to down or that the ‘whatever’ is going to loosen up or whatever the case, whatever the nature of the condition is, is really going to improve? Is that the best thing to do, or the right thing to do?
“And could it set us back, and now we come back after the game, let’s say the player either does or doesn’t play, and then here we are on Monday and we’re further behind than we were on Friday. Yeah, I think that’s a legitimate conversation.”
There were initial reports that Gronkowski suffered a punctured lung on the hit from Earl Thomas Sunday night. In that scenario, cross country air travel would almost certainly nullify any chance Gronkowski would play, let alone make the trip. Those reports were modified on Monday to clarify that he suffered a bruised chest. He did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, as he continued to heal.
|Mike Petraglia, Chris Price recap Tom Brady’s 4 TD, Rob Gronkowski’s 69th, sex toy on the field||10.30.16 at 6:19 pm ET|
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Where to begin? Tom Brady throws for four touchdown passes, Rob Gronkowski catches his 69th touchdown and a sex toy winds up on the field. Just another Patriots win in Buffalo over the Bills, 41-25. Mike Petraglia and Chris Price have your recap inside New Era Field.
|Snap Judgments: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, James White overcome sluggish start, beat Bengals||10.16.16 at 4:05 pm ET|
FOXBORO – On a day when Tom Brady made his first home start of the season, it was Dont’a Hightower who gave the Patriots the jumpstart they needed.
With Jamie Collins out with a hip injury and the Patriots trailing 14-10 in the third quarter, Hightower came up with a game-changing safety that sparked the Patriots to a 35-17 win over the Bengals Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
With chants of “Brady, Brady, Brady” all day, the Patriots quarterback finished 29-of-35 for 376 yards and three touchdowns. It was his 73rd career 300-yard game. He now has 15 touchdowns and just three interceptions in seven career games against the Bengals. He is 6-1 in those seven games.
In Brady’s first home game, Rob Gronkowski and James White had huge games. Gronkowski, who missed Friday’s practice with flu-like symptoms, came through big with seven catches on nine targets for a career-high 162 yards and his first touchdown of the season. It was Gronkowski’s 22nd career 100-yard receiving game, tied with Jackie Smith for third-most by a tight end in NFL history.
[For the complete boxscore, click here.]
White caught touchdown passes of 15 and four yards.
With the crowd in a frenzy, the Bengals defense did a good job keeping the Patriots within striking distance in the first quarter.
On the Patriots first drive of the day, Gronkowski had the biggest play, catching a 32-yarder on third-and-9 that set the Patriots up at the Cincinnati 32. But the Patriots could not move it any further and had to settle for a 46-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski.
The second quarter belonged to Cincinnati and it could have been worse for the Patriots.
After Dalton hit a wide open Gio Bernard on a wheel route down the right side line to put the Bengals at the Patriots 6. But the Patriots defense stopped Bernard at the 1 on fourth-and-goal to keep the Bengals scoreless. But on the next drive, Cincinnati marched down the field again and Dalton ran it in from two yards on an option to the left to give Cincinnati a 7-3 lead.
The Patriots caught a huge break that changed momentum right before the half. With the Patriots facing third-and-18 at their 17, Bengals corner Dre Kirkpatrick was called for illegal contact with Chris Hogan. The play gave Brady another series of downs and new life.
Brady finished the drive executing the hurry-up perfectly, completing three passes to James White of seven, five and 15 yards, the final one capping the touchdown drive. Hogan also had a big reception of 39 yards.
The score gave the Patriots a 10-7 halftime lead.
But the Bengals responded to open the second half. Andy Dalton connected with A.J. Green for 23 yards on third-and-5 at the Cincinnati 40.
Tom Brady is now just 5 wins from passing Peyton Manning as winningest QB in NFL history.
The Bengals forced the Patriots to punt and the Bengals appeared to connect on another big pass but rookie right tackle Cedric Ogbuehi was called for holding, negating a 15-yard completion to A.J. Green. On the next play, Hightower broke through the Bengals line and tackled Andy Dalton in the end zone for a safety. That made it 14-12 Bengals with 7:05 left in the third.
The Patriots then respond with a 68 yard, five-play drive that ended with a Brady-to-Gronkowski touchdown of four yards and was celebrated with the first Gronk spike of the season. The drive was set up by two big completions to the tight end duo.
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