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Patriots News 6/22: Daily Team Notebook

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
6 days ago at 12:13 pm ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

Patriots News 6/22: Daily Team NotebookDavid Mercer - USA TODAY Sports

Some Patriots News on this Wednesday:

– Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski called it a career for the second time on Tuesday, with the 33-year old making the announcement over social media.  “I will now be going back into my retirement home, walking away from football again with my head held high knowing I gave it everything I had, good or bad, every time I stepped out on the field,” wrote Gronk.  Gronkowski finishes his career with over 9,000 receiving yards (9286yds) along with 92 touchdowns.

– Gronkowski certainly goes down as one of the toughest players we’ve seen come through New England.  He was one of the more ferocious blockers for a player at his position, but he took some unbelievable hits over the course of his playing days.  The injuries were likely a massive frustration, with Gronk dealing with some fairly difficult ones.  It started with the forearm fracture he suffered near the end of the 59-24 blowout win over Indianapolis in 2012, which happened as he was in blocking for the team’s final extra point.  He returned for the season finale against the Dolphins, but re-broke it in a different place during the Divisional Round against Houston, which required multiple surgeries.  That injury saw him then wear an arm brace for the remainder of his time here.

– For Gronkowski, the ACL/MCL tear he suffered against Cleveland was probably the worst one, with Bill Belichick giving Browns defensive back TJ Ward the death stare following the hit which occurred the following season in 2013.  Ward came flying in low on the play, with the defensive back striking Gronkowski’s knee just as his front foot landed and completely upended him.  Gronkowski would be carted off the field and his season was over.


Gronkowski’s 2013 season came to an end after that hit.


– Probably one of the more memorable moments that reminded everyone that the tight end was a real person with serious fears was the hit he took out in Denver in 2015 when he was struck just above his knee again against the Broncos with just under three minutes left in regulation.  Gronkowski flailed around on the ground looking frightened at the thought of potentially dealing with another significant knee injury.  The play was eerily similar, with Gronkowski running down the seam with the ball arriving just as defensive back Darian Stewart came in low and hit his leg.

– Fortunately, the injury didn’t end up being serious and Gronkowski suffered what was reported to be a “bone bruise”.  However, it seemingly led to a rift between Gronkowski and the club’s medical staff as he was adamant about seemingly not wanting to take any chances.  The tight end ended up releasing a statement on his status and said he was “week-to-week” and that he would return “when I am 100 percent”.  But that moment is one that comes to mind as a reminder of the fear even the best NFL players deal with.  Thankfully, it wasn’t serious and he eventually returned to the line-up that season.

– For fans here in New England, Gronkowski’s final reception as a member of the Patriots is definitely a memorable one.  The tight end played a key role in the club’s game-winning drive in the Super Bowl against the Rams, with Gronkowski starting things off with an 18-yard reception, followed by the tight end making a diving grab for 29-yards three plays later that set up Sony Michel‘s go-ahead score on the next play to put New England up 10-3.  That helped give the tight end his third championship and Tom Brady’s sixth title, and capped off a pretty incredible Patriots career.  He’ll certainly be in red jacket in the Patriots Hall of Fame at some point, with a trip to Canton also likely in his future.

– Former Patriots center and president of the New England Patriots alumni center Peter Brock was in Bangor on Tuesday along with multiple former players working with kids during a half-day sports camp.  Fellow linebacker Ilia Jarostchuk was among players on hand with Brock as they took kids through various stations during the clinic.  “We come up and hopefully show the kids the benefits of playing team sports, messaging them with the beauty of how wonderful football is and how that’s the vehicle in learning team and team sports,” said Brock.  More than 300 kids between the ages of 9 and 14 were on hand for the event.

– As running back James White continues his journey back from the devastating hip injury he suffered last season, it sounds like we could see the club continue taking things slow when training camp begins just over a month from now.  Mike Reiss of ESPN believes that White will likely start on the PUP list, which makes sense given the extent of the injury.  White did take part in OTAs but was very limited as he continues making his way back to the gridiron.

– Mac Jones said before OTAs ended that while his comfort level with the offense is better, trying to figure out his strengths and working on his weaknesses will be the goal in the weeks ahead.  “I’m always competing against myself,” said Jones.  “So regardless of the situations I’ve been in, I try to be better than I was yesterday. As you get more comfortable with the system and get more comfortable, you try different things and see what works and see what doesn’t. I do that regardless every year, try to push myself, try to make myself better whether that’s my feet, my eyes, throwing, whatever it may be, being a better teammate. There’s thing you can evaluate, but at the end of the day it goes back to me as a person and a player, being the best that I can be.”

NFL NOTES:

– Some sad news out of Baltimore as the team announced that outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson has died at the age of 26.  He was reportedly found unresponsive at his home Tuesday night, although no cause of death has been released.  “We are profoundly saddened by the tragic passing of Jaylon Ferguson,” the team said in a statement. “He was a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and infectious personality. We express our heartfelt condolences to Jaylon’s family and friends as we mourn a life lost much too soon.”  The former 2019 third-round pick leaves behind three young children who are all under the age of five.

– Brian Flores’ lawsuit has quietly seen a motion filed to move the suit to private arbitration.  The motion, which was filed on Tuesday, seeks to also indefinitely suspend any further litigation proceedings.  Should it be granted, it will then see NFL commissioner Roger Goodell oversee the arbitration process.  Flores’ lawyers are reportedly against any arbitration and want the suit to go to trial, with various reports believing that the NFL is trying to prevent any further revelations of private documents coming to light.

– Meanwhile, Deshaun Watson reportedly reached a settlement agreement with 20 of the women who filed lawsuits against him.  The total is now up to 24, although two more are reportedly expected to be filed as the quarterback continues to claim his innocence.  Watson is expected to also face some sort of punishment from the NFL, with the league seemingly sitting back and letting things play out before handing whatever eventual penalty may be coming.

– Former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was back at the facility for what was apparently the first time since retiring in 2018.  Sanchez was there for a podcast, and talked about what it was like being back there.  “It’s been a blast [returning],” Sanchez said. “Those wonderful memories come flooding back. The nostalgia. This place, for me, it means the world to me.” Those memories mean the world to fans in New England as well, with one in particular that come to mind every Thanksgiving:


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Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Cleveland Browns Darian Stewart Denver Broncos Ilia Jarostchuk Los Angeles Rams New England Patriots Peter Brock Rob Gronkowski Sony Michel Tom Brady


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