Patriots

Knicks' Amare Stoudemire might not be back until...

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Knicks' Amare Stoudemire might not be back until...

From Comcast SportsNetGREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -- Amare Stoudemire could be sidelined for two months, the second straight season the New York Knicks forward will miss significant time because of injury.The Knicks said Tuesday that Stoudemire would have left knee surgery and could be out six to eight weeks, more than twice as long as originally estimated when he was hurt during the preseason.The team said he will have a debridement, a procedure to remove tissue."It's tough. I mean, Amare's a big piece to our puzzle, man. I don't care how you slice it," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "We'll be here when he gets back, that's for sure. We've just got to hold the fort down until he's able to get back in a uniform and on the floor playing."Stoudemire missed the first two preseason games with a bruised left knee, then scored 18 points in 27 minutes against Toronto on Oct. 19. He was bothered by more pain and the Knicks announced he had a ruptured cyst and would be sidelined two to three weeks.But he and the Knicks decided after further discussion and consultation to have the procedure.Stoudemire struggled through an injury-filled 2011-12, though none of his problems were with his surgically repaired knee. He missed 15 games because of injuries, 13 with a bulging disk in his back, and his average of 17.5 points was his lowest since his rookie season.His absence further hinders the Knicks' hopes of getting Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony to mesh in their first full season together. The Knicks are just 31-40 when both play, and both have said they expected things to be better this season with their first training camp."It's disappointing. I definitely thought this was going to be the season that we had a chance to go out there and play together in a full season, no injuries or things like that," Anthony said. "But at the end of the day, you can't control that. You can't control what happens to your body, you can't control injuries."We want him to just be healthy. End of the day, when he's ready to come back, his jersey will be hanging in the locker and we'll be ready for him."The Knicks could opt to play Anthony at Stoudemire's power forward spot, which they did with success late last season.New York did get good injury news Tuesday when center Tyson Chandler was able to take part in portions of their practice. He was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee after a collision in an exhibition game last Wednesday, but hopes to play Thursday in the season opener at Brooklyn.The NBA communications staff announced on its Twitter page Tuesday night that the game would be played as scheduled, despite damage to New York's subway system caused by Hurricane Sandy. The NBA said earlier Tuesday it was still evaluating games for later this week.

Vikings hold off Lions 30-23 to extend win streak to 7

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Vikings hold off Lions 30-23 to extend win streak to 7

DETROIT = Case Keenum threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score in the first half to give the Minnesota Vikings a double-digit lead and they went on to win a seventh straight game, 30-23 over the Lions in the traditional Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit. Click here to read more. 

Pats can find reasons for thanks everywhere

Pats can find reasons for thanks everywhere

The Patriots hit Thanksgiving with an 8-2 record, a stranglehold on first place in the AFC East, and a rest-of-the-season schedule -- save for the much-anticipated meeting with the Steelers on Dec. 17 -- almost bereft of quality opponents. So they have a lot to be thankful for.

But here are some things you may not be aware of . . . 

SURGICAL-GRADE DIPPED LATEX TUBING

Whoever came up with the stuff Tom Brady's resistance bands are made out of -- it's actually "surgical-grade dipped latex tubing sheathed in ballistic nylon," according to the TB12 website -- probably deserves a tip of the cap from the entire region. The 40-year-old uses the bands extensively as part of his training regimen, and he currently leads the league in passing yards, yards per attempt, quarterback rating, rating under pressure and touchdown-to-interception ratio. 

SUSAN SCARNECCHIA

Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia was retired just a couple of years ago. He traveled. He spent time with his grandchildren. Then the Patriots called. After some time to think about it -- and after talking it over with his wife Susan -- Scarnecchia opted to come back after two years away from the game. At 69 years old, he's helped this year's unit overcome some early-season struggles, and he still seems to be on top of his game. Think the Patriots are happy he had his wife's blessing to jump back in? 

ELECTRONIC TABLETS

You weren't expecting this, were you? Bill Belichick has said he's not a fan . . . but that's on game days. "I’m done with the tablets," he said last year. "I’ve given them as much time as I can give them. They’re just too undependable for me." But when it comes to players using tablets on their own time? They're incredibly useful. Whereas years ago players would have to come into the facility early or stay late in order to watch extra film, now they can study from the comfort of their own homes, on a team flight, or while riding in a car (as long as they aren't driving). For teams that have players who want to be over-prepared, having access to all-22 video at any time can be an advantage. 

DR. ROBERT WATKINS

Who's this, you ask? He's the Los Angeles-based back specialist who operated on Rob Gronkowski's back last year. He operated on the big tight end in 2009 and 2013, and his latest procedure seems to be holding up as well as possible. Gronkowski quickly regained his strength and athleticism, and he continues to be his team's most dynamic offensive weapon. He has 41 catches for 619 yards and five scores this season, and he's been used extensively as a blocker in the running game and in pass protection. Gronkowski deserves credit -- as does the Patriots medical, training and nutrition staffs -- for being so effective in his return to the field, but the Patriots are probably thankful that last year's back surgery went as well as it did.  

FLOWERS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

Trey Flowers has been arguably his team's most dependable defender this season. According to Pro Football Focus, he's been on the field for 606 snaps, which is fourth among edge defenders. His 338 pass-rush snaps are second among 4-3 defensive ends, per PFF. He's played through injury at times, and he's remained productive. Against the Raiders he had three quarterback hits and three hurries. So why would the Patriots be thankful for Flowers Construction Co.? That's the Huntsville, Alabama company run by Flowers' father, Robert, who put Trey to work when he was growing up. The work ethic he learned on-site has helped him go from a fourth-round pick who lost most of his rookie season to injury into a playing-time iron man and one of the team's most reliable defenders.

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