Patriots

Rob Gronkowski 'definitely ready' to return to Patriots Sunday against Jets

Rob Gronkowski 'definitely ready' to return to Patriots Sunday against Jets

FOXBORO -- You can expect to see Rob Gronkowski back on the field Sunday. It's been almost a month, but that's the plan. 

"Definitely ready to get back there," he said Friday. "Good to go. Excited to be back out there for a game. Excited to be back out there on Sundays and play some ball."

Gronkowski was last seen in uniform for a Week 8 win against the Bills, where he made three catches for 43 yards. He didn't look like himself that night, particularly when picking himself up off the turf relatively slowly following one incompletion during which he landed on his back while trying to make the catch.

He wouldn't say if this is the healthiest he's felt since Week 1, but he did say that he's ready. 

"I feel good," he said. "I'm ready to go. Sunday afternoon in New York. It's going to be a hostile environment. It always is. They're a good team. They play hard. I can't recall a game where I would say they [didn't] in my years playing them. It will be a good one. It'll be a tough one but it'll be a good one again."

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He added: "I feel good. I'm ready to play. That's all. I'm excited to be back out there come Sunday. Just been working hard to get back out there. Ready to roll."

Earlier this week, the New York Daily News printed a cover to its sports pages that featured Gronkowski, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in a reference to the movie "Weekend at Bernie's." 

In the movie -- for those young enough to be unaware of the 1989 flick -- Bernie is dead, but he's traipsed around and dressed up to look like he's still living. In the artwork for the tabloid's cover, Gronkowski was Bernie.

Gronkowski said he hadn't seen it.

"No. Heard there was some like crazy weekend though at my house," he said. "It gets crazy."

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Was he motivated by the paper implying that he's done? 

"No, it is what it is," he said. "We’ve got a big game Sunday, that’s all that matters. I’ve got to get ready, got to get prepared and just focus on Sunday."

Gronkowski credited those who've worked with him behind the scenes for getting him back to the point where he can play in a divisional matchup that the Patriots will need to win in order to try to keep pace with the Chiefs, who sit atop the conference at the moment with just two losses.

When he stepped to the podium, he'd clearly worked up a good sweat at practice on the fields behind Gillette Stadium.

"Just keep on grinding every day with my teammates," he said, "so I can get out there and that's what it will be on Sunday."

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New Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu ranks among leaders in this important star

New Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu ranks among leaders in this important star

The No. 1 goal for wide receivers is to get open, and Mohamed Sanu does a very good job of accomplishing that.

Sanu reportedly was traded from the Atlanta Falcons to the New England Patriots in exchange for a 2020 second-round draft pick Tuesday, and he will provide much-needed depth for a Pats receiving corps that's battled plenty of injuries and other depth concerns over the first half of the season.

One of the talents Sanu brings to the Patriots is the ability to separate from opposing defensive backs and get open. In fact, he ranks in the top five of all NFL wideouts in average yards of separation when targeted. Take a look at the leaderboard below:

Sanu has tallied 33 receptions for 313 yards and one touchdown in seven games for the Falcons this season. He joined the Falcons via free agency in 2016 and quickly established himself as one of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan's most trusted targets.

Leaving the Falcons, who are 1-6 and headed for a second consecutive season without playoff action, gives the 30-year-old veteran a fantastic opportunity to win the first Super Bowl of his career. Sanu came tantalizing close to winning the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl LI, but Tom Brady and the Patriots broke the Falcons' hearts with a comeback for the ages.

Tom E. Curran's takeaways from the Sanu trade>>>

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Odell Beckham Jr. to give Tom Brady a fitting gift at Patriots-Browns

Odell Beckham Jr. to give Tom Brady a fitting gift at Patriots-Browns

How big of a Tom Brady fan is Odell Beckham Jr.?

Big enough that he plans to hand-deliver a pair of custom-made cleats to the New England Patriots quarterback when his Cleveland Browns come to town next Sunday.

Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal has the details:

Nothing like a pair of "goat hair" cleats to show respect to one of your NFL idols.

Beckham's love affair with Brady goes way back, as the two exchanged jerseys after a New York Giants-Patriots preseason game in 2016.

Beckham and Brady since have exchanged several compliments on social media, with the former repeatedly using the "goat" emoji to confirm he believes Brady is the greatest QB of all time.

The Browns obviously will be trying to stop the Patriots on Sunday, but apparently that won't stop Beckham from showing his appreciation for their quarterback.

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