Gronkowski headlines lengthy list of Patriots injured vs. Saints

Gronkowski headlines lengthy list of Patriots injured vs. Saints

Rob Gronkowski opted not to speak with reporters following Sunday's win over the Saints, but he did flash a smile and said, "I'm good."

Forgive them, but that's probably not quite enough to put Patriots fans at ease. 

The 6-foot-6 tight end left the game in the second half after making his sixth catch of the day, giving him 116 yards and a score. He was slow to get up, and when he did, he immediately gestured toward the Patriots sidelines. 


After speaking to trainer Jim Whalen and team physician Dr. Mark Price, Gronkowski underwent further evaluation in the Patriots medical tent on the sidelines. When he emerged, he remained on the Patriots sideline, pedaling a stationary bike briefly. 

The injury was later announced as a groin issue and he did not return. 

Here are some of the other injuries the Patriots were dealing with on Sunday before their 36-20 win was through . . . 

Rex Burkhead (ribs): It was clear that the Patriots were making a concerted effort to get Burkhead the football early on. He had five touches, including a 19-yard touchdown reception, in the first quarter alone. In Week 1 against the Chiefs, he had four total touches. After that first quarter, though? He was hardly seen. He was spotted standing next to Whalen on the sidelines but was held out. Without Burkhead the Patriots lost one of their most versatile backs. They are deep at the position, which would make any kind of extended absence for Burkhead a bit easier to manage. But given the other injuries to offensive skill position players, Burkhead's ailment could loom large if it impacts his availability for Week 3. 

Phillip Dorsett (knee): It was a positive day for the newly-acquired receiver . . . until he left with a left knee issue. He caught three passes for 68 yards -- including one play when he alertly came back to a Tom Brady pass after Brady was hit -- and looked as though he was comfortable with the portions of the offense that the coaching staff entrusted him with. Dorsett spent time with Whalen on the sidelines and was also observed inside the medical tent, according to the CBS broadcast. When he went down, the Patriots were left with just two available receivers. And only one of them was healthy. 

Chris Hogan (lower body): Hogan could barely go in motion with a couple of minutes left in the fourth quarter. He was seen limping after several plays, and there was a point in the game when cameras focused on the difficulty he had running off the field. Per CBS, he was focused on his knee while on the sidelines, but he never came out of the game for any extended period of time and his injury was never announced. Hogan, who caught five passes for 78 yards and a touchdown, spoke to reporters after the game and said he felt "great."

Eric Rowe (groin): After starting opposite Stephon Gilmore, Eric Rowe eventually had to leave the game with a groin injury. His absence meant that Malcolm Butler was forced to match up with some of New Orleans' bigger receivers. Rowe spoke in the locker room following the game and indicated that his injury wasn't expected to be a long-term issue. 

Stephon Gilmore was spotted with a limp, per our Mike Giardi, meaning the Patriots could be dealing with injuries to multiple corners as they prepare for the Texans in Week 3. 

As for the receiver group, they are perilously thin if Hogan and/or Dorsett misses time. Danny Amendola was forced to sit out Week 2 as he deals with a concussion and a knee injury. 

Others ruled out for Week 2 with injuries were Dont'a Hightower (knee), Matthew Slater (hamstring), Nate Ebner (shoulder) and Vincent Valentine (knee).

Asked after the game if he was concerned about the health issues the Patriots were dealing with, Bill Belichick said, "We'll do the best that we can with what we have to work with."


THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Raiders score on final play for 31-30 win over Chiefs


THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Raiders score on final play for 31-30 win over Chiefs

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Wins have been so hard to come by for the Oakland Raiders that it took three tries at the final play for them finally to pull this one out and possibly save their season.

Derek Carr threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree on the final play after the game was extended by two straight defensive holding calls and the Raiders snapped a four-game losing streak with a 31-30 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.

"We didn't give up," Crabtree said. "We got a team full of fighters. We believe. ... No matter how hard the game was, we believed. We came out with the W and I'm excited. It's a good way to win, a great way to win."

With their season on the line following the recent slump, Carr led an 85-yard touchdown drive in the final 2:25 to give the Raiders (3-4) the thrilling comeback in a game they trailed by nine points heading into the fourth quarter.

Carr finished 29 for 52 for 417 yards and three touchdowns, with Amari Cooper catching 11 passes for 210 yards and two of the scores. The Raiders had struggled to get the ball downfield while being held to 17 or fewer points in four straight games but Carr repeatedly beat the Chiefs with deep passes.

"No. 4 kept making plays," coach Jack Del Rio said. "This is a special, special win."

Alex Smith threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns but it wasn't enough for the Chiefs (5-2). They lost consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 11-18, 2015, and had their 12-game winning streak in the AFC West snapped in a thrilling finish.

"I've never been part of a game that came down so dramatic," linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "But, still had a chance to win. Period. Just have to make a play. One play. One play."

The Raiders had an apparent go-ahead touchdown pass to Jared Cook with 18 seconds left overturned when replay ruled he was down at the 1. An offensive pass interference on Crabtree wiped out another touchdown on the next play.

But holding calls on Ron Parker and Eric Murray set the stage for the final play. Carr hit Crabtree in the front corner of the end zone to tie it at 30. Giorgio Tavecchio won it with the extra point , setting off a celebration on a wild night that included Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch getting ejected in the second quarter for shoving an official.

HOT TEMPERS: The game took an odd turn midway through the second quarter after Kansas City's Marcus Peters hit Carr late, angering the Raiders. Offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn confronted Peters and Lynch sprinted off the Oakland sideline to join the fray. Lynch, a close friend of Peters, ended up shoving line judge Julian Mapp and getting ejected . Peters also was called for a personal foul on the play. Lynch congratulated his teammates in the locker room after the game but didn't speak to reporters.

"I was disappointed he ran out because I knew we had a 15-yard penalty and we'd be in good shape," Del Rio said.

LONG DRIVE: After Marquette King pinned the Chiefs at their own 1 with a perfect punt early in the second quarter, Kansas City needed little time to turn the momentum. Smith hit Demarcus Robinson on a 33-yard pass on the first play of the drive. After a short run, Tyreek Hill beat David Amerson for a 64-yard touchdown pass that gave the Chiefs their first 99-yard drive since doing it Dec. 3, 2006, against Cleveland.

DEEP CONNECTION: Carr had not connected on a single deep ball to Amari Cooper all season before the two teamed twice for long TDs in the opening quarter. On the first, Cooper appeared to push Terrance Mitchell but the officials picked up the flag and gave Cooper the 38-yard TD . Later in the quarter Carr and Cooper connected on a 45-yard score, making Cooper the first Raiders receiver with two TD catches in the first quarter since Mervyn Fernandez in 1989.

KICKING WOES: The Raiders were hurt last week when a bad snap by Jon Condo led to a missed extra point by Giorgio Tavecchio in a 17-16 loss to the Chargers. That was Tavecchio's first missed kick of any kind this season but he then had a 53-yarder blocked and missed a 45-yarder wide left in the second quarter. Tavecchio also had a false start on an extra point in the third quarter.


Chiefs: Host Denver on Oct. 30.

Raiders: Visit Buffalo on Oct. 29.