NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters at the league's spring meetings on Wednesday that the NFL will take no disciplinary action against Robert Kraft until the Patriots owner's solicitation of prostitution case is resolved.
Also Wednesday, Judge Leonard Hanser indefinitely postponed Kraft's trial until the appeal by prosecutors of Hanser's decision to suppress the use of video evidence obtained at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. Police say those videos show Kraft paying for sex when he the spa twice in a 24-hour period in January.
Kraft issued a public apology after the arrest and has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of solicitation.
The appeal over the videos won't be heard until at least Sept. 4. The Patriots open their season Sept. 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium, meaning Kraft will likely still be waiting for the resolution of his court case and any discipline from the NFL when the team's sixth Super Bowl championship banner is raised in a ceremony before that "Sunday Night Football" opener.
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Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman and center Ted Karras, who were each listed as questionable with injuries, made the trip to Cincinnati with the team Saturday but backup defensive tackle Byron Cowart was downgraded to out with a concussion, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Edelman, the team's leading receiver, has been battling shoulder and ankle injuries. Karras, the starting center, missed the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday with a knee injury. Both were limited in practice this week.
The Patriots (10-3), coming off back-to-back losses to the Houston Texans and Chiefs, play the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Here we have two teams at opposite ends of the food chain. The 10-3 Patriots and the 1-12 Bengals. Unfortunately, they have one thing in common. Neither one scores much. The Bengals high for the season is 23 points and that was in Week 4. They’ve only scored more than 20 points twice.
The Patriots have scored fewer than three offensive touchdowns in five out of six games and the lone game they scored three – in Houston – two came in the very late stages after falling behind 21-3. So this game has the potential to look like a Patriots-Bengals from the not-so-distant past. Not the “On to Cincinnati” game people remember from 2014, but the ugly slog in the rain a year earlier when the Patriots lost 13-6 at Cincy.
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So many elements are the same now for the Patriots offense – limited talent at wideout and a lack of protection up front.
Because of the Patriots' offensive struggles, what seemed for months like a simple walkover has the potential to be uncomfortably competitive.