- Times wins two awards from Society for Professional Journalists
- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
Rob Gronkowski done for season with knee injury
The star tight end who missed the first six games while recovering from surgeries is done for the season after being placed on injured reserve Monday with a damaged right knee.
That experience could help the Patriots handle his absence.
“I’d like to think there’s going to be some carry-over there, not only (from) the first six weeks of the season, but the entire training camp as well,” coach Bill Belichick said Monday. “That’s the way we practiced and played most of the year.”
The Patriots were 5-1 while Gronkowski recovered from offseason operations on his left forearm and back. In the next six games, he led all NFL tight ends with 37 catches and 560 yards receiving and they were 4-2. But the offense was much more productive.
Gronkowski caught touchdown passes in four consecutive games before making just two receptions for 32 yards against the Browns.
He suffered a torn ACL and damaged MCL, a person familiar with the injury said Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team did not release those details.
Cleveland coach Rob Chudzinski said Monday he didn’t know whether Ward’s hit on Gronkowski resulted from a reluctance to hit a player high and possibly incur a fine for helmet-first contact.
“From my vantage point, I think he was trying to get Gronkowski down on the ground,” Chudzinski said. “A big guy coming at you that way is tough to get on the ground, so I don’t know that it has to do with the rules other than trying to get the guy on the ground. Certainly, we feel terrible about that (injury). He’s a great player, and (we) hope that he has a speedy recovery.”
The Patriots visit Miami on Sunday.
“The thing about New England is they have an excellent offensive staff, they utilize their personnel very, very well, and they adjust,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. “You have to have a big enough system offensively that you can incorporate different players throughout the course of the season.”
The injury is just the latest to a key Patriots player. Defensive tackles Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly, linebacker Jerod Mayo and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer are on season-ending injured reserve. Gronkowski’s injury should make it tougher for the Patriots (10-3) to hold on to the No. 2 spot in the AFC and a first-round bye. Cincinnati (9-4) is third and has beaten New England this season.
“We can’t sit here and try to pretend like it’s something that’s easy and that we just can roll through. It’s tough,” special teams captain Matthew Slater said. “When you lose guys, and guys of this caliber, it makes it hard on your football team.”
The Patriots signed tight end D.J. Williams to the 53-man roster. They had released him last Wednesday after signing him as a free agent on Nov. 27. Williams played sparingly in a 34-31 win over Houston.
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Air Force sees resource shift as U.S. exits Afghanistan, heads to Africa
- FISHER: Shades of Berlin in the South China Sea
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.