Patriots

Gronkowski nabs HR derby title, ESPN magazine cover

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Gronkowski nabs HR derby title, ESPN magazine cover

It might be easier at this point to chronicle what Rob Gronkowski hasn't done this summer.

This week New England's top tight end added two more highlights to his offseason resume: Triple-A celebrity Home Run Derby and The Mag cover model. Might as well get it all in now; Patriots training camp is less than three weeks away.

Gronkowski mashed 17 home runs in two rounds of the Buffalo, New York derby. After starting slow -- hitting just five in round one -- he finished in dramatic fashion by hitting the final 12 when the pressure was on.

He crushed one ball beyond the 325-foot outfield fence. Gronk smash, indeed.

Second place finisher Russ Brandon, CEO for the Buffalo Bills, didn't threaten the title too seriously with just seven home runs. He gave Gronkowski a gracious nod Tuesday morning via Twitter.

Congrats again to @robgronkowski on the W.Great guy and a great ambassador for Buffalo. Russ Brandon (@RussBrandon) July 10, 2012

As for the magazine cover, Gronkowski graces the front of ESPN The Magazine's infamous "Body Issue." This means he's naked -- all but for a large, strategically-placed dot.

I'll let you look that one up for yourselves.

Patriots-Falcons injury report: Gilmore, Rowe out

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Patriots-Falcons injury report: Gilmore, Rowe out

As expected, after not practicing all week, Patriots cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (concussion) and Eric Rowe (groin) have been ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

The full Patriots and Falcons injury report:

Tom Brady: Injuries like his, Gordon Hayward's 'big reality check for all of us'

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Tom Brady: Injuries like his, Gordon Hayward's 'big reality check for all of us'

FOXBORO — You’d have to go back to 2008 to find the last “you’ve got to be kidding me” injury to open a Boston season before Gordon Hayward. 

That injury, of course, was the torn ACL suffered by Brady on a hit to the left leg from Bernard Pollard with 7:27 left in the first quarter of Week 1. Brady missed the rest of the season and the Pats went on to miss the playoffs despite going 11-5 under Matt Cassel. 

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Brady, who reached out to Aaron Rodgers last Sunday after the Packers quarterback was lost for the season, said he felt for Hayward after the Celtics’ key free agent acquisition suffered a fracture-dislocation of his left ankle 5:15 into the season opener against the Cavaliers Tuesday.

“It’s just a big reality check for all of us because we all think we’re invincible to some degree, and then you go and you have this really tough injury that just happens,” Brady said. “It is tough and everyone probably goes through something a little different or it hits them at different times, and I feel bad for [Hayward and Rodgers], but I’m sure they’ll both come back stronger and better than ever. 

“That’s what you have to do as an athlete. You’re always faced with adversities and you’ve got to overcome them. Mental toughness is a big part of that. I know both those players have a lot of that.”