Patriots

Patriots check-up: Chris Hogan will give it a go; Trey Flowers ruled out

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Patriots check-up: Chris Hogan will give it a go; Trey Flowers ruled out

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Chris Hogan made his way to South Florida with the Patriots on Sunday. And not to watch. 

Tom Brady and the Patriots offense have gone without Hogan since he injured his shoulder late in a Week 8 win over the Chargers. It's unclear how much he'll play, but after four practices this week in Foxboro, he's going to give it a go Monday night against the Dolphins. 

Earlier in the week, we went into some detail on how Hogan could help the Patriots offense if he's able to go. With Rob Gronkowski suspended, Hogan could serve as a valuable red-zone target. 

Hogan's return could also have an impact on the workload issued to his teammates. Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola's snap-counts have been relatively unchanged with Hogan out, but Phillip Dorsett has taken on the No. 2 receiver role in terms of play-count since Week 8. In four games since Hogan's injury, Dorsett has averaged 42 snaps per game.

Here's a quick look at how the Patriots may be impacted by some of the injuries they're dealing with . . . 

Marcus Cannon, Kyle Van Noy, Trey Flowers ruled out: Cannon's ankle injury will hold him out yet another week, leaving the right-tackle duties to LaAdrian Waddle (more on him later) or Cam Fleming. Van Noy's absence could be a difficult one for the Patriots. He has handled the hybrid end-slash-linebacker duties once held by Dont'a Hightower, and he's emerged as a leader of the New England front-seven. Without him, the Patriots become thinner at both the edge and the second-level. Players like Eric Lee (57 snaps against the Bills last weekend), Elandon Roberts (49), David Harris (25) and Marquis Flowers (35) can all expect a busy day with Van Noy unavailable. Trey Flowers will miss his second consecutive game with a ribs injury. Special-teamer Brandon King (hamstring) has also been ruled out.

Issues on the edge: Injuries to Van Noy and Flowers aren't the only issues the Patriots have on the edge. Deatrich Wise (foot) came into the weekend listed as questionable. He only managed to get onto the field for one practice this week. The Patriots have been perilously thin at defensive end all season -- the Derek Rivers injury, Rob Ninkovich retirement and Kony Ealy release had something to do with that -- and are facing a situation where they may have to go deep into their bench just to man the position. If Wise is at all limited, Bill Belichick could be forced to turn to Lee and Geneo Grissom -- both of whom were practice-squad players just a few weeks ago. Rookie defensive tackle Adam Butler could also potentially bump outside; the Patriots worked him there throughout training camp. 

Waddle improving, still questionable: Waddle worked out prior to the Bills game but was deemed unable to go. His ankle injury has improved steadily since then, however. While it's not certain he'll play, he'll have a better shot at getting back onto the field than he did a week ago. Waddle was injured in the fourth quarter of his team's win over the Dolphins in Week 12. Whoever is playing right tackle for the Patriots, whether it's Waddle or Fleming, will have his hands full. Dolphins pass-rusher Cameron Wake typically lines up on that side. 

Something going around the running backs room: Mike Gillislee (illness) was ruled out on Sunday night. He missed Saturday's practice with an illness one day after Dion Lewis missed a practice due to illness. Lewis practiced on Saturday and is expected to be ready for Monday night. Gillislee has been a healthy game-day scratch since the Week 9 bye. 

Rob Gronkowski reunites with David Ortiz, calls him his 'new trainer'

Rob Gronkowski reunites with David Ortiz, calls him his 'new trainer'

Two of Boston's most beloved sports figures in the city's history did some reuniting on Monday.

Rob Gronkowski and David Ortiz joined forces for an Instagram video that certainly will add to the speculation about a possible comeback for the retired Patriots tight end.

“Big Papi’s my new trainer,” Gronkowski says in the video while flexing. “We are reunited.”

Watch below:

Don't get too excited though, Patriots fans. Gronk has pretty much already shut down the idea of a comeback this season and is preoccupied with some new television responsibilities. He has, however, left the door open to return to the gridiron one day.

If Gronk does decide to help out the Pats' current tight end situation, he has until Nov. 30 to make up his mind.

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This surprising Patriots trend doesn't bode well for Eagles matchup

This surprising Patriots trend doesn't bode well for Eagles matchup

The New England Patriots have opened as 3.5-point road favorites for their Week 11 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles.

That should surprise no one: The Patriots have been favorites in their previous 38 road games dating to Nov. 2014 and generally are favored against any opponent they play. That's what happens when you win 11 or more games in nine consecutive seasons.

What may surprise you, though, is that New England isn't all that great as a road favorite.

Here are the results from the Patriots' last 13 regular-season games as road favorites since the beginning of the 2018 campaign, courtesy of the "Boston Sports Info" Twitter account:

2019
Week 9 at Baltimore: 20-37 LOSS
Week 7 at New York Jets: 33-0 WIN
Week 5 at Washington: 33-7 WIN
Week 4 at Buffalo: 16-10 WIN
Week 2 at Miami: 43-0 WIN

2018
Week 15 at Pittsburgh: 10-17 LOSS
Week 14 at Miami: 33-34 LOSS
Week 12 at New York Jets: 27-13 WIN
Week 10 at Tennessee: 10-34 LOSS
Week 8 at Buffalo: 25-6 WIN
Week 7 at Chicago: 38-31 WIN
Week 3 at Detroit: 10-26 LOSS
Week 2 at Jacksonville: 20-31 LOSS

The Patriots have lost six times as road favorites since the beginning of last season and are 7-6 in those contests. 

As you may have gathered, that's the same number of regular-season games they've lost overall in that span, meaning all of their losses in their last 25 regular-season games have come as road favorites.

New England had better hope that 3.5-point line doesn't waver, either. According to Boston Sports Info, quarterback Tom Brady actually has a losing record (10-15) in his career when the Patriots are favored by three points or fewer.

That stat makes sense when you get past the sticker shock: It's hard for any club to beat good teams on the road, and New England's incredible run of success under Brady and Bill Belichick means it's favored in virtually every game, even on the road versus quality opponents.

The Patriots are coming off one of those losses in Baltimore earlier this month, and the Eagles will present another tough test in Sunday's Super Bowl LII rematch.

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