Patriots lose Woodhead, Jones as well as Gronkowski


Patriots lose Woodhead, Jones as well as Gronkowski

FOXBORO -- While the biggest injury of the night came when Rob Gronkowski suffered a season-ending broken left forearm in the first quarter, the Patriots lost two other players against the Texans. Both running back Danny Woodhead and defensive end Chandler Jones left the game and did not return before New England's 41-28 win went final.

Jones injured his ankle in the second half and his return was announced as "questionable." The good news on Jones is that, though he was seen limping after the game, the Boston Herald reports that he did not need to wear a walking boot as he left Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots rookie defensive end will have a chance to host his older brother Arthur, a defensive lineman for the Ravens, next week when Baltimore travels to Gillette for the AFC Championship game.

Woodhead injured his left thumb on New England's first play from scrimmage, opening up the door for Shane Vereen's big game. Woodhead was on the sidelines in the second quarter after being listed as "questionable" to return.

Though Gronkowski's injury permanently removes one of Tom Brady's most talented weapons from the Patriots offense, losing Jones and Woodhead for any amount of time would be fairly significant blows.

Jones has started every game at defensive end except for the three he missed with an ankle injury in Weeks 10 through 12.

Woodhead has been a versatile and reliable back as the senior member of the Patriots' running back group, and he was trusted enough to start the Divisional Round playoff game against the Texans until he was injured after the first play.

It will be worth watching the Patriots practice report throughout the week to monitor their statuses.

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics surge at end of second quarter

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics surge at end of second quarter

BOSTON –  For the second time in as many games, the Boston Celtics were hosting a team eager to get off a losing skid.

But a strong surge near the end of the second quarter gave the Celtics a 65-56 halftime lead over Portland which came into the night having lost four straight.

Boston opened with a 12-4 run capped off by a 3-pointer by Jae Crowder – his second within the game’s first couple minutes.

But the Blazers were being carried by C.J. McCollum, half of the most explosive backcourt in the NBA. His 12 first-quarter points were crucial to keeping the Blazers within 28-26 at the end of the quarter.

McCollum continued to out-perform everyone else on the floor, even Isaiah Thomas who had a quieter than usual first half.

But the 5-foot-9 Thomas continued to make all the plays needed to put the Celtics back on top courtesy of a 12-3 run that put them ahead 57-49 with 1:55 to play in the half.

From there, Boston was able to maintain control of the game.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Saturday’s game.



C.J. McCollum

While there’s still talk about whether Damian Lillard will be an All-Star this year, McCollum has played well enough to where he’s at least worthy of a mention in the All-Star conversation. He certainly carried Portland in the first half with 26 points on 8-for-12 shooting.

Isaiah Thomas

As usual, Thomas drew a considerable amount of attention from the opposing defense. And slowly but surely, he found cracks that he could exploit. At the half, he had 17 points, four assists and three rebounds, one of which was an offensive board that he put-back in for a lay-up.



Jae Crowder

He put the Celtics on a good path from the outset, knocking down a couple 3’s in the first couple of minutes. He finished the half with 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting which included a trio of 3-pointers.

Meyers Leonard

He was 3-for-4 in the first half which included a pair of powerful dunks over Boston’s Jordan Mickey. At the half he had eight points and two rebounds.



Damian Lillard

It was a rough half for the two-time All-Star, tallying just three points on 1-for-5 shooting. A big part of his problem? Foul trouble. He played just 10 minutes in the first half due in large part to having three personal fouls.