Tag Archives: New England Patriots

Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski ‘satisfied’ with how injured hamstring is healing

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski stopped short Tuesday of making any declarative statements about the health of his injured hamstring or his availability for Thursday night’s home game against the Houston Texans, saying only that he felt “decent.”

“We’ll see,” he said. “It will definitely be a coach’s decision, a trainer’s decision. We’ll all come together.

“I’m just doing everything I can right now to be as healthy as I can be. I’m improving every single day. Basically, day by day right now. бн Obviously, you just don’t wake up and you’re 100 percent, but I’m satisfied with the improvements.”

Gronkowski was a limited participant in Tuesday’s practice, showing up in full pads for the walkthrough session. He explained that he wore the full pads to get a feel for them, and that it’s also part of his recovery and training regimen.

“You just want to get a feel for your shoulder pads when you haven’t been in them,” he said.

Yes, he is. It’ll be interesting to see the Redskins’ approach Sunday. The fourth quarter switch came as a surprise, given defensive coordinator Joe Barry’s response last week explaining his reluctance to not only adopt this strategy but also to make such a change in-game. Both corners said they did not practice this during the week.

In the process, McCarthy has created a homogeneous offense that leaves little to the imagination. In two games, he’s used a three-receiver set on 95 of 123 offensive snaps, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That’s 77.2 percent of their plays with three receivers on the field. Of those 95 snaps, all but 11 featured that same trio of receivers.

What’s more, 86 of those 123 snaps featured the exact same personnel group: three receivers, one tight end and one running back. That’s 69.9 percent of their offense with the same look that most teams call their “11” package.

The Packers’ offensive struggles have surprisingly carried over from last season even though Nelson, a Pro Bowl receiver in 2014 before he blew out his knee last year and missed all of 2015, and free-agent tight end Jared Cook were expected to change the dynamic.

Instead, two games into the season the same questions that dogged McCarthy last season remain on the table for the asking.

With Dion Lewis out, is there a viable fantasy option in the New England backfield?

Dion Lewis’ injury setback isn’t only frustrating news for his fantasy owners in leagues that drafted early; it’s also aggravating in that it takes the New England Patriots’ backfield a step backwards in terms of role certainty from week to week.

“We’ve talked to him. He knows what he has to do. He’s working through it,” said Koetter, directing all questions about possibly bringing in another kicker to general manager Jason Licht. “I wouldn’t think that’s an option, but that would be a question for Jason.”

Koetter was asked if he believes Aguayo’s struggles are mental.

“I think so and I think he believes that,” Koetter said.

Roberto Aguayo has missed two field goal attempts and one extra point conversion attempt through the first two preseason games.

Aguayo admitted Monday that indeed, his confidence has been affected.

“I’d say a little bit, but in times like this, it builds you up so down the road in the future, you’re a lot stronger, ya know? You’ve got to have times like this where you struggle a little bit,” Aguayo said.

On Monday, Koetter put him on the spot at the end of practice and said that if he made a 50-yarder, the team could go home early. He made it, and his teammates celebrated with him. They also let him break the huddle. “I haven’t had that feeling in a long time … a game-winning kick,” Aguayo said.

Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said it gave him a huge boost.

“It was big for him because he got to see what making his kicks can do for his team, how it can energize us when he makes his kicks.”

“He’s a rookie. He was drafted as a kicker, so a lot of expectations come with you being the guy,” said McCoy, who was selected third overall in the 2010 NFL draft and didn’t have a breakout season until 2013.

“With me not struggling right away with injuries, not living up to expectations, who better to go talk to him?” said McCoy, who tore the biceps in both arms his first two seasons and ended up on IR. “I just go and encourage him and say, ‘Hey listen, just stay the course. Just stay the course.”

Despite the boo-birds, several fans waited for Aguayo after practice to get his autograph and to offer words of encouragement. “We watched you all the way back at Florida State,” said one fan. “We have a lot of faith in you.”

Meanwhile, former Bucs kicker Patrick Murray, now with the Browns, went 4-for-4 on his kicks during the joint practice session. The Bucs waived him in May, two and a half weeks after drafting Aguayo.

Rodgers said that this will be a one-shot deal for the preseason; he’s not expecting to play in the finale at Kansas City.

Rodgers hasn’t played in either of the first two games, but Packers associate head coach Tom Clements said that even a two-time MVP quarterback, who is entering his 12th NFL season (and ninth as a starter), could use the work.