While a football game should be the furthest thing on people's minds after a natural disaster, the earthquake that measured 7.1 on the Richter scale and struck near Mexico City, killing more than 200, has led to the NFL reviewing whether the Patriots-Raiders game scheduled there for Nov. 19 at Estadio Azteca can take place.
“The initial information from that review is the stadium is remarkably in good shape, and that’s a testament to the construction and the safety devices that were put in place when that stadium was built 50 years ago,” NFL vice president for international Mark Waller told NBCSports.com's Pro Football Talk. “The stadium is actually built with four gaps in it to allow the stadium to move in the event of an earthquake.”
Social media images showing what some thought was a crack in the stadium actually showed expansion joints that are a safety feature allowing the stadium to withstand an earthquake.
For the second consecutive year, the Raiders are giving up a home game to host a game at the stadium. They defeated the Houston Texans there last season.
“The Raiders have the people of Mexico City and the surrounding areas in our thoughts and prayers following today’s earthquake,” the Raiders said in a statement. “Mexico City is a special place for the Raider Nation, and the most heartfelt sentiments of the Raiders family go out to all of our Mexican neighbors in this time of need.”
FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski's never suffered a break like the one Gordon Hayward did on Tuesday night, but he has been through enough to know what lies ahead as the Celtics forward stares at a lengthy recovery period.
"I saw it. I mean, I wish him nothing but wellness," Gronkowski said on Wednesday. "Hopefully he heals ASAP. You never want to see that with a player in any sport. When my friend showed me that last night, you get that feeling in your body, like, your heart drops. I wish him well.
"I can't wait to see him back. I know he's going to bounce back. Being here in Boston, he's going to be a hard worker it feels like. I can't wait to see him back."
Multiple back surgeries, a plate in his arm, a surgically-repaired ACL . . . Gronkowski has put in his share of rehabilitation work. Asked if he'd give Hayward any advice as he embarks on his road back to normalcy, Gronkowski's message was simple.
"Just go into rehab just like you go into anything else. Dominate it," Gronkowski said. "Come back when you feel ready. Come back when you're 100 percent . . . He wouldn't be where he is now if he wasn't a hard worker. I don't know the guy. Never met him. But it's not something you want to see as an athlete happen to anyone else."
Gronkowski acknowledged that in his experience, one of the biggest hurdles following an injury like that is the mental one. You quickly go from being a powerful athlete to a patient in need of help with even the smallest of tasks.
"There is a big mental challenge, definitely, with that," Gronkowski explained. "It's not just not being able to be with your teammates and all that. It's outside of football, too. Because it takes away your whole life, going out like that . . . You can't do anything. You can't walk. You gotta have people do [things for you]. You get really frustrated. You just want the people around you to help you out and keep you in the best mindset throughout the whole process."
FOXBORO -- Chris Hogan only had one catch for 19 yards against the Jets. He very nearly had a second grab in the second quarter, but Tom Brady's throw was off the mark, and Hogan's ribs were exposed for rookie safety Marcus Maye to hammer. The pass fell incomplete and Hogan crumpled to the turf.
He didn't leave the game, but Hogan did end up on Wednesday's injury report as a limited participant in practice due to a ribs injury. He was one of three players added to this week's injury report. Linebacker Elandon Roberts has an ankle injury and did not participate in Wednesday's workout. Guard Shaq Mason has a shoulder issue and was limited.
Eric Rowe and Stephon Gilmore, neither of whom were spotted at the start of the session, did not participate.
Here's Wednesday's full practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Falcons game:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
CB Stephon Gilmore (concussion/ankle)
LB Harvey Langi (back)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)
RB Rex Burkhead (ribs)
WR Chris Hogan (ribs)
G Shaq Mason (shoulder)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
K Matt Bryant (back)
OLB Vic Beasley Jr. (hamstring)
LB Jermaine Grace (hamstring)
LB Deion Jones (quadricep)
DE Takk McKinley (shoulder)
LB Duke Riley (knee)
WR Mohamed Sanu (hamstring)
DL Courtney Upshaw (ankle/knee)