Patriots

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. 

PATRIOTS 36, SAINTS 20

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."

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

0:43 - Tom Curran, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley talk about Bill Belichick saying it’s “incomprehensible” that people expect the Patriots to be on the same level as last year at this point in the season.

11:55 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley discuss J.R. Smith’s comments about the Celtics not being a threat to the Cavaliers.

15:38 - Abby Chin, Chris Mannix, and A. Sherrod Blakely join BST from Cleveland to talk about Marcus Smart and the Celtics failing to agree to a contract extension, making him a restricted free agent in July. They also preview Tuesday’s Celtics-Cavaliers season opener.

19:25 - Reports say Alex Cora is the frontrunner for the Red Sox managerial position, but Brad Ausmus interviewed for the position on Monday. Who is the right man for the job? Tom Giles and Michael Holley discuss.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win

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MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Marcus Mariota threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor with 5:29 left , and the Tennessee Titans beat the Indianapolis Colts 36-22 on Monday night to snap an 11-game skid tied for the NFL's longest active losing streak against one team.

Mariota didn't move around much on a cool night after missing a game with a strained left hamstring, but still managed to throw for a season-high 306 yards. He completed each of his three passes on the drive that ended with Taylor's tiebreaking score.

The Titans (3-3) also snapped a two-game skid with the win.

Jacoby Brissett tried to rally the Colts (2-4) to a second straight overtime. But Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard forced Brissett out of bounds shy of the first down marker on fourth-and-inches with 2:19 left. Coach Chuck Pagano lost his challenge.

Derrick Henry then clinched the win for Tennessee with a 72-yard TD run with 47 seconds left. Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, finished with a career-high 131 yards on 19 carries. DeMarco Murray also scored.

The Titans looked like the NFL's worst scoring defense in the first half instead of Indianapolis, with Brissett directing the Colts to a 13-9 halftime lead. John Simon then intercepted Mariota's first pass of the third quarter and returned it 26 yards for a TD.

But the Titans forced the Colts to go three-and-out on three of their first four drives of the second half, and Avery Williamson stripped tight end Jack Doyle of the ball after a catch.

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