Dont’a Hightower Placed on Season-Ending IR with Pectoral Injury

Men's Nike New England Patriots #54 Dont'a Hightower Game White NFL Jersey
Men’s Nike New England Patriots #54 Dont’a Hightower Game White NFL Jersey

The New England Patriots Jerseys placed linebacker Dont’a Hightower on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday with a torn pectoral muscle.

Hightower suffered the injury during the Pats’ 23-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 7.

Ian Rapoport‏ of the NFL Network reported last month the 27-year-old defender was expected to miss the rest of the 2017 campaign with the ailment. Tuesday’s roster move confirmed that outcome.

Meanwhile, Albert Breer of The MMQB told Dont’a Hightower Jerseys Toucher and Rich of 98.5 The Sports Hub (via NBC Sports Boston) the linebacker’s pectoral was already 55 percent torn when he re-signed with the New England in March. The team attempted to manage his offseason reps with hope he could get through the season without a major setback.

“Obviously we’re all disappointed for High,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told reporters Oct. 27. “He’s, you know, the leader, one of the leaders on our defense, one of our captains. He gives us a lot. It’s unfortunate. It gives someone else opportunities, and we’ll see how that goes.”

Hightower finishes the 2017 Tom Brady Jerseys season with 14 combined tackles and two sacks across five appearances. He remains under contract through the 2020 campaign.

David Harris and Trevor Reilly should both receive increased opportunities within the Patriots defense.

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Julian Edelman pulls the curtain back on Rob Gronkowski

Patriots #87 Rob Gronkowski Anthracite 2016 Christmas Gold Salute to Service Jersey
Patriots #87 Rob Gronkowski Anthracite 2016 Christmas Gold Salute to Service Jersey

With Rob Gronkowski Jerseys, there’s more than meets the eye.

Julian Edelman decided to pull the curtain back on his Patriots teammates while joining Big Cat and PFT Commenter on the Barstool Sports podcast Pardon My Take and spoke about what he’s like off the field. Believe it or not, Edelman explains that the tight end pretty bright, especially with numbers.

“Gronk’s a smart dude,” Edelman said on the podcast.. “He’s really good with numbers. My guy, he’s got a really good memory. He can remember plays or where guys were drafted. He can remember stuff like that real well.”

He added: “We’ll be talking contracts and he’ll be like, ‘Yeah, that’s $6 (million) a year bro, or that’s $7.23 (million) a year.’ ”

And here we were thinking he only focused on the number 69.

Despite Gronk’s astute nature off New England Patriots Jerseys the field, he’s still the silly, dominate force on it that we’ve come to know for many years in Foxboro.

“He reminds you of a seventh grader,” Edelman explained. “Like the really big kid and laughing, and like the dude guy, like this-that, farting around, playing tag with girls and stuff, but he was really athletic. Like the whole fifth grade team wanted to play just against him. That’s how he is in the league. He’s just that guy just having a ball.

“It’s so funny running by this Julian Edelman Jerseys guy when you’re in a game like he’s giggling and laughing and making these sounds [Edelman proceeds to make random sounds depicting Gronk] and then he’ll get tackled and get up and go, ‘Did you see that, bro? I really stiff-armed that guy to the ground!’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah Gronk I saw that. You’re a beast.’ ”

Enjoy him while you can because there’ll never be another one quite like Gronk.

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Why Julian Edelman Thinks It ‘Sucks’ Watching Patriots Play Every Week

Men's New England Patriots Julian Edelman Nike White Super Bowl LI Bound Game Jersey
Men’s New England Patriots Julian Edelman Nike White Super Bowl LI Bound Game Jersey

Julian Edelman hates New England Patriots Jerseys watching the New England Patriots every week.
No, it’s not because the wide receiver has developed some sort of rivalry with his teammates and coaches while rehabbing a knee injury he suffered during the preseason. It’s because he’s having a hard time dealing with not being able to help the Patriots in their quest for a third Super Bowl title in four seasons.
“It sucks,” Edelman said on the newest episode of Sports Illustrated’s “Off The Board” podcast with Jimmy Traina. “It’s not fun to watch your team go out, and guys that you’ve worked so hard with and the countless hours you’ve put in on your own time to go and showcase all your Julian Edelman Jerseys hard work and then have it taken from you and then see your boys playing without you.
“You wanna see your fellas do well, but it sucks because you’re not there and it’s one of those things where you get frustrated like, on something, you’re like, ‘Man, I could’ve helped them right here,’ or ‘I could’ve done something here.’ ”
Edelman totaled 98 catches for a career-high 1,106 receiving yards last season and figured to play a prominent role in New England’s offense again this season. The 31-year-old suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the Patriots’ third preseason game back in August, though. Now, he’s unable to suit up on Sundays, something that can be mentally draining for a variety of reasons.
“Watching the games is painful,” Edelman told Traina. “I don’t even enjoy football, at least professional football, anymore, because I’m breaking the game down constantly. You’re sitting there watching the plays and you’re talking mental reps on what would I have done here against this Tom Brady Jerseys coverage or this leverage, this, that. It is what it is.”
Edelman might hate watching from the sideline. But we’re sure he still wants to see his team win another championship, and it’s certainly possible with New England sitting at 6-2 heading into Week 10.

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Patriots feel Julian Edelman’s absence most in red zone

Men's New England Patriots Julian Edelman Nike Navy Vapor Untouchable Limited Player Jersey
Men’s New England Patriots Julian Edelman Nike Navy Vapor Untouchable Limited Player Jersey

Julian Edelman isn’t thought of as a typical red New England Patriots Jerseys zone target, but the New England Patriots aren’t a typical offense and Tom Brady is not a typical quarterback.

Edelman may not be a touchdown machine statistically, but he makes life significantly easier for every other receiver Brady might throw to. He moves the chains to get the ball closer to the goal line, he absorbs defenders over the middle because he cannot be left alone, and he is even a threat on jet sweeps and other runs. He is Brady’s most dependable target, and now that he’s gone, the team has not been able to figure out how to score in the red zone.

The Patriots entered Sunday’s game having converted 53.3 percent of red zone opportunities into touchdowns. They went one-for-four against the Los Angeles Chargers, and Stephen Gostkowski had to attempt six field goals (making four of them). That is not a typical offensive game for the Patriots.

New England came into Sunday Julian Edelman Jerseys ranked 16th in red zone touchdown percentage in the NFL. Before this season, they hadn’t fallen out of the top-10 since 2009. And, keep in mind, many of those years didn’t involve a healthy Rob Gronkowski. This team has largely had the NFL’s best tight end on the field.

Things only figure to get worse if Chris Hogan has to miss extended time. He injured his shoulder late in the win over the Chargers, and as New England’s biggest wide receiver, he fit the bill most as a red-zone target. His five touchdowns told a similar story.

But now, the Patriots seem to stall whenever Tom Brady Jerseys they enter enemy territory, and the likeliest explanation is a lack of trust between Brady and his receivers. Edelman was the one player he could always depend upon to run the right route and generate space. The closest analogue to Edelman on the current team, Danny Amendola, has dealt with injuries all season.

Now Brady has to put his faith in new receivers. So far, those players have been unable to pick up the slack. If they don’t soon, the Patriots will be in serious trouble on offense.

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Patriots’ Tom Brady, still evolving at 40, is going deep like never before

Men's New England Patriots Tom Brady Nike White Vapor Untouchable Limited Player Jersey
Men’s New England Patriots Tom Brady Nike White Vapor Untouchable Limited Player Jersey

As a 40-year-old considered the greatest ever Tom Brady Jerseys at his craft, the possessor of the latest Super Bowl MVP award and five Lombardi Trophies, Tom Brady entered this year with little reason to modify his performance. In a ranking of humans with the least incentive to change, in fact, Gisele’s husband would rank somewhere near the top.

And yet, a close inspection of Brady, during another MVP-caliber year, reveals a quarterback amid personal evolution. Brady burnished his legend with short, precise passes to quicksilver receivers darting over the middle of the field. He became a master of manipulating defenses and spewing quick throws. This year, Brady has turned gunslinger, heaving bombs downfield with greater frequency than at any point in his 18-year career.

Brady’s penchant for deep throws is nothing short of a stylistic transformation. Last year, Brady attempted 49 passes thrown at least 20 yards in the air all season, according to data tracked by Pro Football Focus, which uses the 20-yard barrier to define deep passes. This season, he’s already tossed 40 deep passes, the most in the NFL.

Brady has thrown 15.3 percent of his passes New England Patriots Jerseys more than 20 yards in the air, the third-highest total in the league behind Deshaun Watson and Tyrod Taylor. His previous career-high came in 2006, at 13.4 percent. In the past four seasons, Brady’s frequency throwing long had ranged between 10.5 and 11.3 percent, ranking in the bottom half of the league. Compared to his peers, Brady relied heavily on short passes. This season, he is chucking it deep.

Last season, according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Brady’s average target was 8.6 yards downfield, which put him in the middle of the pack, just below average, among NFL quarterbacks. This season, he’s averaging 10.1 yards in the air per attempt, fifth in the NFL.

The shift has not diminished Brady’s excellence or efficiency. He’s completed 18 deep passes, most in the NFL, despite two drops. His 8.4 yards per attempt is the second-best total of his career, and he’s completing 66.8 percent of his passes, the third-highest total of his career.

The sudden change has come in response to several factors, starting with receiving personnel. When Julian Edelman suffered a season-ending injury in preseason, Brady lost one of the option-route artists in the NFL, his favorite target on quick passes.

The loss of Edelman came as the Patriots added speedster Brandin Cooks, a complete receiver who gave Brady his best outside deep threat since Randy Moss. Brady’s average pass to Cooks has traveled 14.3 yards, longer than any Patriots receiver last season. Edelman’s loss also meant more targets for Chris Hogan, a long-strider whose best routes are run up the field.

Defensive schemes also played a role. More teams Julian Edelman Jerseys are using the blueprint Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton provided in Week 1, gumming up the middle of the field and forcing Brady to make deep throws down the sideline. Brady has responded by showing it doesn’t work. As a young quarterback, the biggest knock on Brady was his ability to throw deep balls. At 40, amazingly, he’s doing it better than ever.

Meanwhile, health and continuity on New England’s offensive line has meant more time in the pocket for Brady to let deep patterns develop. Five offensive linemen — Nate Solder, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon — have all started at least 21 of 23 games since the start of last season. Under esteemed offensive line coach/guru Dante Scarnecchia, the quintet has become one of the best lines in football.

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Julian Edelman: There’s a short window in NFL

Men's New England Patriots Julian Edelman Nike Red Super Bowl LI Bound Game Jersey
Men’s New England Patriots Julian Edelman Nike Red Super Bowl LI Bound Game Jersey

New England Patriots Jerseys wide receiver Julian Edelman signed a one-year, $1.15 million last April with no guaranteed money. He was considered to be on the roster bubble last offseason.

It’s safe to say that Edelman’s next deal is going to be a lot more costly after he caught 105 passes in 2013.

Edelman, looking a bit like Macklemore, was making the rounds here at Radio Row in Times Square on Thursday. He made it clear that he’s ready to test his value on the open market.

“Playing for New England is a dream, but like Julian Edelman Jerseys you said, there’s a short window in this sport. I don’t know yet. There’s a lot of things that can happen going forward that could sway that one way or another,” Edelman told WBZ-FM in Boston via “Hopefully it all works out in favor for both.”

Edelman said that he had yet to sit down with his agents and come up with a plan. When asked if slot receivers are undervalued around the league, Edelman had a stat at the ready.

“I played 51 percent of the snaps outside, though,” Edelman said. “But you can go ahead and call me a slot as well.”

Julian Edelman’s Children’s Book Gets A Jewish Makeover

Patriots #11 Julian Edelman Anthracite 2016 Christmas Gold Salute to Service Jersey
Patriots #11 Julian Edelman Anthracite 2016 Christmas Gold Salute to Service Jersey

If New England Patriots star Julian Edelman retires from New England Patriots Jerseys the NFL anytime soon, he clearly has a promising second career as a Jewish children’s book writer.

In front of about 400 children and their families Tuesday night at the Newton Centre flagship of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Boston, the 31-year-old wide receiver and Super Bowl hero read a special edition of a children’s book he co-wrote last year.

Unsurprisingly Edelman, who has Jewish ancestry on his father’s side and has identified as Jewish in recent years, was treated like a rock star.

“He’s a really good receiver and I hope I like his book,” Ilan Sherman Kadish, one of Edelman’s many young fans in attendance, said before the player spoke.

The event was organized by PJ Library, the Massachusetts-based global Jewish children’s book giveaway program supported by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation in partnership with other philanthropists and local Jewish community organizations. Twenty-five thousand copies of Edelman’s book, “Flying High,” a semi-autobiographical story about an endearing squirrel named Jules who is determined to play football, are being mailed this week to 5-year-olds in Jewish homes across North America through the PJ Library program.

Before Edelman read his book, the audience was shown a video with footage from his rollicking visit to Israel in 2015 (which was co-sponsored by the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston). The crowd cheered loudly after the video as Edelman, wearing a brace from a preseason knee injury that has kept him from playing this season, made his way onto the stage.

Edelman said onstage that the story of Israel Julian Edelman Jerseys reminded him of his own struggles to push past those who overlooked him. He was picked in the seventh and final round of the 2009 draft by the Patriots and was not projected to succeed in the league. But he has notched over 400 career receptions, helped the team win two Super Bowls and become quarterback Tom Brady’s favorite target.

“I fell in love with the people of Israel,” Edelman said, noting his admiration for how the small country thrives despite being surrounded by unfriendly countries.

It’s a theme he said he wanted to convey in a children’s book, especially after the birth of his daughter, Lily, in November, to whom he dedicated the book.

The new PJ Library edition of “Flying High” includes extra material on the front and back flaps that emphasizes the story’s Jewish content and values. There is also a new reference to Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism. The dedication page includes one of Herzl’s most famous quotes: “If you will it, it is no dream.”

The idea for the quote came from the Israeli-born Assaf Swissa, Edelman’s co-author. Edelman told JTA after the event that while the quote was not central to the original book, it turned out to be a good fit.

“It definitely has meaning for me,” he said of the Herzl quote.

Edelman has become an object Rob Gronkowski Jerseys of Jewish fascination since he publicly identified himself as a member of the tribe in a 2013 interview on the NFL Network. He has tweeted about Jewish holidays, wore an Israel pin during a game in 2014 and was named one of the best Jewish football players of all time by the American Jewish Historical Society last year.

PJ Library’s founder, Jewish businessman Harold Grinspoon, and his wife, Diane Troderman, both philanthropists, attended Tuesday’s event along with their grandchildren and other members of their family.

Edelman is “an amazing guy. He’s a heimische guy. He’s so real,” Grinspoon told JTA, using a Yiddish term meaning friendly and down to earth. “I love the [‘Flying High’] story because it’s so true to who he is.”

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Rob Gronkowski to play Sunday; suffered thigh contusion vs. Panthers

Men's New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski Nike Red Vapor Untouchable Limited Player Jersey
Men’s New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski Nike Red Vapor Untouchable Limited Player Jersey

New England Patriots Jerseys tight end Rob Gronkowski’s absence will be limited to one game.

Gronk missed the Pats’ victory against the Buccaneers last Thursday due to a thigh contusion that resulted from a leg whip four days earlier against the Panthers, according to a source. But at this point, Gronkowski will be ready Sunday when the Patriots meet the Jets at MetLife Stadium.

The origin of the injury had been unknown until now. The Patriots initially listed Gronkowski on the injury report as a limited participant last Wednesday — the day before they played the Buccaneers — which was odd because they conducted a walkthrough that morning prior to their flight. As an indication that he could potentially play against the Bucs, Gronk still traveled with the team but was ultimately held out and watched the game from the bench with a compression sleeve on his left thigh.

Rob Gronkowski Jerseys thigh contusion made it difficult to move, let alone play in a game, so the Patriots kept him out. The main reason was that they didn’t want him to take another shot to the leg and worsen the injury, as the most serious thigh contusions can keep a player out for weeks or even months. That obviously wasn’t a risk worth taking.

There’s also another factor to consider. Because safeties and linebackers often go low to tackle Gronk, he would have had a difficult time avoiding those problematic hits without his usual athleticism and flexibility. The Patriots wouldn’t want to put him in danger of succumbing to a far more serious injury with that in mind.

As for the delayed designation on the injury report, contusions can often worsen in the days after impact. But now a week and a half later, all signs point toward Gronkowski returning to game action this weekend in New Jersey.

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Patriots promote DE Geneo Grissom, send DT Vincent Valentine to IR

Men's Nike New England Patriots #92 Geneo Grissom Elite Navy Blue Rush NFL Jersey
Men’s Nike New England Patriots #92 Geneo Grissom Elite Navy Blue Rush NFL Jersey

New England Patriots Jerseys defensive tackle Vincent Valentine is heading to Injured Reserve, but the Patriots already have the next man up.

“Patriots have promoted Geneo Grissom to the 53-man roster, per source,” wrote Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal. “He replaces Vincent Valentine, who heads to the IR with a knee injury.”

The move makes sense, and some had been predicting it would happen even before the team made it official. After all, the Patriots already signed former Texans wide receiver Riley McCarron, showing that follow-up moves were coming.

“With Riley McCarron joining the Patriots’ practice squad, look for DE Geneo Grissom to be promoted to the active roster,”“Edge depth/special teams.”

He was then asked who would lose their spot on the active roster to make that possible.

“Good afternoon,” Reiss wrote. “Could be related to the team’s injury situation. Just a guess, but possibly DT Vincent Valentine (knee) goes on the reserve list.”

Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. This is a minor move, and fans likely won’t see too much of Grissom unless there are a rash of injuries. He’ll have to work his way up.

That’s something Geneo Grissom Jerseys has been doing for years now. The Oklahoma product was a third-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, landing with New England. He’s 6-foot-4, 265-pounds, and he’s just 25 years old. He notched 1 sack and 6 tackles in his first season and has bounced back and forth between the practice squad and the active roster. The Patriots would love to see him take this opportunity and really step up.

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Alan Branch: ‘You’ll Have To Ask Bill’ About Reduced Playing Time

Men's Nike New England Patriots #97 Alan Branch Elite White NFL Jersey
Men’s Nike New England Patriots #97 Alan Branch Elite White NFL Jersey

If Alan Branch Jerseys and Bill Belichick are having issues, he’s not letting anyone know about it. The Patriots defensive tackle, perhaps wisely, declined to address his reduced playing time to start the 2017 season.

“That’s something you’ll have to ask Bill,” he told reporters on Wednesday, via the Boston Sports Journal’s Christopher Price. “That’s not my pay grade or for me to talk about. That’s a question to ask Bill.”

Branch played just six snaps (9 percent) in last Sunday’s win over the Saints, after he got a normal workload of 42 snaps (62 percent) in Week 1 against the Chiefs. The Tom Brady Jerseys typically slow-starting defensive tackle remains confident that he will put in enough work to earn an increased workload over the course of the season, citing offseason practice restrictions as slowing his progress.

“Having more plays and having more consistent, day-in-day-out football makes it a lot easier. In the offseason, you can’t put on pads and hit your local grocery store clerk in practice playing three-technique. You can but you might get arrested,” joked Branch. “But that’s the plan. Just get better throughout the year and peak at the right time.”

Branch’s snap count plummeted to the New England Patriots Jerseys point where Belichick could be sending him a message and he could even be on the way out in Foxboro. But it’s possible that the head coach is simply waiting until Branch is fully in game shape and ready to contribute at his usual level. One thing’s certain: neither will be answering any specific questions about it.

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