Patriots

Report: Goodell will be out of sight from most fans at Gillette

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Report: Goodell will be out of sight from most fans at Gillette

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be at Gillette Stadium for the Patriots opener tonight, but according to Sports Illustrated's MMQB.com, he'll be off the field before most fans are in the stadium.

Here's more from the MMQB.com story by Kalyn Kahler: 

The commissioner attends the opener every year, so this date has been on Goodell’s schedule since New England won Super Bowl 51. In an effort to mitigate the negative reaction from fans in Foxborough, Goodell will finish up his pregame duties on the field early and will be off the field before the majority of Patriots fans are inside the stadium. The Patriots will not flash to any shots of the commissioner during the game on the video screens inside the stadium, and Goodell will not be sitting in Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s suite. (He did visit Kraft’s suite briefly during his preseason appearance.)

Goodell made a surprise preseason game appearance in Foxboro in August and even posed with fans. Still,  tonight, Barstool Sports will be distributing more than 70,000 rally towels with the infamous image of Goodell's face with a clown nose for fans to direct their anger at the commissioner's handling of the Deflategate controversy and Tom Brady's four-game suspension last season.

As Kahler writes: 

Barstool Sports spent $140,000 for 70,000 rally towels, printed with an image of Goodell’s face with a clown nose, originally a t-shirt design popularized by Barstool during the height of the Deflategate controversy. Roadplates.com, a company with a storage facility three miles down the road from Gillette, donated its space and services to store the 240 cardboard boxes stuffed with 300 turquoise rally towels each. On Wednesday Barstool gave out 60,000 of the towels to volunteers to distribute to other fans. The remaining 10,000 will be handed out from Barstool’s RV at a car dealership near the stadium but off of Patriots property. Barstool is calling the stunt #OperationClownFace.

NBC, which will televise the game, told MMQB, via a spokesperson: “We will show the commissioner during coverage of the game, and cover any related news appropriately.”


 

Gronkowski advises Hayward to treat rehab like anything else -- dominate

Gronkowski advises Hayward to treat rehab like anything else -- dominate

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."

MORE: 

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."

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Patriots-Falcons practice report: Gilmore, Rowe absent; Hogan added

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Patriots-Falcons practice report: Gilmore, Rowe absent; Hogan added

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)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
RB Rex Burkhead (ribs)
WR Chris Hogan (ribs)
G Shaq Mason (shoulder)

ATLANTA FALCONS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
K Matt Bryant (back)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
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)