Dont'a Hightower's torn pectoral muscle, which reportedly will end his season, may have come as a surprise to outsiders. But TheMMQB.com's Albert Breer doesn't think it could have been a surprise to the Patriots, because he said Hightower had the injury well before he was hurt Sunday against the Falcons.
"[He] failed physicals in March because of this," Breer told Toucher & Rich, referencing free-agent visits Hightower made to the Jets and Steelers. "I know one team found that he had, at that point -- and this is seven months ago now -- had a 55 percent torn pec then.
"So that was why [the Patriots] were very careful with him in the spring, why they were careful with him in the summer. And I think the hope was that they could get through this year with it . . . "
As NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry noted, Breer thinks replacing Hightower with one person will be impossible.
"[It's] a gigantic loss," said Breer. "Look, they need playmakers in their front seven. They don't have many of them. And here's a guy who plays mulitiple spots and because of that, I think that, you know, it's going to take multiple guys to replace him and what he brings to the table."
There have been all kinds of theories of what ultimately kept Josh McDaniels from taking the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job.
NBC Sports Boston Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran offered his here and here. Ex-Pats linebacker Willie McGinest said he was told it wasn't because McDaniels was promised to eventually succeed Bill Belichick.
Now comes Sports Illustrated's Peter King, who told NBCSports Network's "PFT Live" that you can cross off the theory that McDaniels' reversal was about not wanting to move his family to Indianapolis.
“This had nothing to do with his family,” King said. “It was about the Patriots giving him a better option than Indianapolis.”
More here from NBCSports.com's Pro Football Talk.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has hinted about walking away from football at 28 and apparently World Wrestling Entertainment is listening.
According to Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer newsletter, WWE is willing to offer Gronk a "similar style deal" that it offered UFC star Ronda Rousey, who made her WWE debut late last month, is scheduled to be part of its "Elimination Chamber" event Feb. 25 and is being advertised as being part of their WrestleMania signature event April 8.
Gronk was part of Wrestlemania last year (see video below) and his friend, wrestler Mojo Rawley, hinted earlier this week that Gronkowski might be looking to give up football for the ring. Gronk has also reportedly been considering retiring to pursue a movie career.