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: Patriots-Steelers tale of the tape

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Patriots-Steelers tale of the tape

0:41 - The BST crew breaks down the Celtics’ 107-95 loss to the Utah Jazz. A. Sherrod Blakely joins Tom Giles from the TD Garden and Michael Holley and Kayce Smith analyze Gordon Hayward’s pregame comments about his recovery and return.

8:07 - Do Bill Belichick and the Patriots attempt to shut down Le'Veon Bell or Antonio Brown this weekend against the Steelers? Tom Giles and Michael Holley discuss and Phil Perry and Kayce Smith break down the matchup with this week’s tale of the tape.

14:36 - The Red Sox watched another slugger get scooped up, as the Philadelphia Phillies signed Carlos Santana. Michael Holley, Kayce Smith and Tom Giles discuss Boston’s interest in still-available J.D. Martinez and how much he could cost the club.

Injury report: Branch out, 10 Patriots questionable

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Injury report: Branch out, 10 Patriots questionable

The Patriots final injury report before their showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday includes 10 players listed as questionable and defensive lineman Alan Branch ruled out.

Branch, who hurt his knee in the Monday night loss to the Dolphins, missed three days of practice this week. Among the questionable are linebacker Kyle Van Noy and defensive lineman Trey Flowers, who didn't play against Miami. Tom Brady (Achilles), Brandon Cooks (hand) and Malcolm Butler (ankle) have been removed from the injury report. 

Cornerback Joe Haden (fibula) and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (hamstring) among the Steelers listed as questionable. The full injury report: