Patriots

Bergeron (leg) game-time decision

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Bergeron (leg) game-time decision

SUNRISE, FL Patrice Bergeron took part in the optional morning skate at BankAtlantic and hes being listed as a game time decision by his coach.

The banged up center full expects to play against the Panthers, however, despite taking a Matti Niskanen slapper off the left knee on Sunday afternoon and a Johnny Boychuk steamed blast off the back of his left leg Tuesday night.

It was one of those things. You cant really control it. I couldnt get out of the way. You hope its not going to hit you, but Johnny has a pretty good shot, said Bergeron, who topped 17 minutes of ice time and won 20-out-of-27 face-offs in the one-sided loss to the Lightning. Im hopeful that it will stay the way it is for the rest of the day. We need to find answers, gain some ground and build up some points. Theres not much time left in the regular season and we need to get on a roll.

Its pretty much the same thing today. Hoping Ill be in the lineup and I felt okay. Youd like to be 100 percent, but its part of the game and Ill be in there hopefully.

Bergeron took Monday off the ice as a maintenance day to tend to his aches and pains, and is expected to center a reunited line between Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin.

After the offensively combustible line of Seguin, David Krejci and Milan Lucic were on the ice for the first three goals allowed against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first period Tuesday night, Claude Julien is looking to reach back to defensive basics by setting No. 37 as the defensive anchor.

Bergeron admitted he was feeling a pretty healthy amount of pain in playing through injury, but he said his willingness to play through discomfort wasnt worth any special acknowledgement at this time of year.

Im not the only one thats got to play through pain. Im no different than anybody else. Its part of the game and it shouldnt be an excuse, said Bergeron. Its just pain tolerance, I guess, and you go from there.

While the Bruins werent going to fully commit to Bergerons place in the lineup given the pain factor in his left leg, the expectation is there that the center will make pregame warm-ups and play in a pivotal game against the Panthers amid a three-game losing streak.

Gronkowski advises Hayward to treat rehab like anything else -- dominate

Gronkowski advises Hayward to treat rehab like anything else -- dominate

FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski's never suffered a break like the one Gordon Hayward did on Tuesday night, but he has been through enough to know what lies ahead as the Celtics forward stares at a lengthy recovery period.

"I saw it. I mean, I wish him nothing but wellness," Gronkowski said on Wednesday. "Hopefully he heals ASAP. You never want to see that with a player in any sport. When my friend showed me that last night, you get that feeling in your body, like, your heart drops. I wish him well.

"I can't wait to see him back. I know he's going to bounce back. Being here in Boston, he's going to be a hard worker it feels like. I can't wait to see him back."

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Multiple back surgeries, a plate in his arm, a surgically-repaired ACL . . . Gronkowski has put in his share of rehabilitation work. Asked if he'd give Hayward any advice as he embarks on his road back to normalcy, Gronkowski's message was simple.

"Just go into rehab just like you go into anything else. Dominate it," Gronkowski said. "Come back when you feel ready. Come back when you're 100 percent . . . He wouldn't be where he is now if he wasn't a hard worker. I don't know the guy. Never met him. But it's not something you want to see as an athlete happen to anyone else."

Gronkowski acknowledged that in his experience, one of the biggest hurdles following an injury like that is the mental one. You quickly go from being a powerful athlete to a patient in need of help with even the smallest of tasks. 

"There is a big mental challenge, definitely, with that," Gronkowski explained. "It's not just not being able to be with your teammates and all that. It's outside of football, too. Because it takes away your whole life, going out like that . . . You can't do anything. You can't walk. You gotta have people do [things for you]. You get really frustrated. You just want the people around you to help you out and keep you in the best mindset throughout the whole process."

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Patriots-Falcons practice report: Gilmore, Rowe absent

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Patriots-Falcons practice report: Gilmore, Rowe absent

Wednesday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Falcons game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
CB Stephon Gilmore (concussion/ankle)
LB Harvey Langi (back)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
RB Rex Burkhead (ribs)
WR Chris Hogan (ribs)
G Shaq Mason (shoulder)

ATLANTA FALCONS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
K Matt Bryant (back)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
OLB Vic Beasley Jr. (hamstring)
LB Jermaine Grace (hamstring)
LB Deion Jones (quadricep)
DE Takk McKinley (shoulder)
LB Duke Riley (knee)
WR Mohamed Sanu (hamstring)
DL Courtney Upshaw (ankle/knee)