Rob Gronkowski says no concerns about back, groin injury 'nothing serious'

Rob Gronkowski says no concerns about back, groin injury 'nothing serious'

FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski told reporters on Monday that the groin injury he suffered in New Orleans the day before isn't serious.

"The reports say out there it was my groin, and yes it is my groin," Gronkowski said. "It's nothing serious, and I'm just day-to-day."

Gronkowski added he has no concerns about his back, which needed season-ending surgery last fall.

"No," he said. "Not at all."

Gronkowski opted not to speak with reporters following Sunday's win over the Saints, 36-20, but he did flash them a smile in the visitor's locker room and tell them, "I'm good."

The 6-foot-6 tight end left the game in the second half after making his sixth catch of the day, which gave him 116 yards and a touchdown. He was slow to get up, and when he did, he immediately gestured toward the Patriots sidelines. 

After speaking to trainer Jim Whalen and team physician Dr. Mark Price, Gronkowski underwent further evaluation in the Patriots medical tent on the sidelines. When he emerged, he remained on the Patriots sideline, pedaling a stationary bike briefly. 

The injury was later announced as a groin issue and he did not return.

"Super relieved," Gronkowski said Monday. "I knew there was nothing really wrong from the beginning. I'm good."

Will he be able to play on Sunday at Gillette Stadium against the Texans? To be determined.

"I feel good," he said with a smile. "Nothing serious."

Patriots tie Yankees as second most valuable sports franchise

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Patriots tie Yankees as second most valuable sports franchise

Thanks in part to the Super Bowl LI comeback you may have heard about, the Patriots now rank as the second most valuable franchise in sports.

According to Forbes' 2017 list of most valuable NFL teams, the Patriots are worth a whopping $3.7 billion. That's an increase of nine percent since the historic Super Bowl victory over the Falcons, tying the Patriots with the Yankees as runner ups to the Cowboys, who topped the list once again at $4.2 billion.

Per Forbes:

The Patriots merchandise revenue increased by over 50% and the legacy value of the team's winning brand will be felt with long-terms sponsorships for years. The team has a paid ($100 deposit) season ticket waiting list of over 70,000.

The fourth and fifth most valuable sports franchises listed were soccer clubs Manchester United ($3.69 billion) and FC Barcelona ($3.64 billion). 

The New York Giants ($3.3 billion), Washington Redskins ($3.1 billion) and San Francisco 49ers ($3.05 billion) rounded out the top five most valuable franchises in the NFL.

Patriots seem to have found another impactful pass-rusher in Deatrich Wise

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Patriots seem to have found another impactful pass-rusher in Deatrich Wise

When Deatrich Wise notched his first sack as a pro in Week 1 against the Chiefs, it wasn't quite what he had envisioned all his life. Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith tripped over himself trying to avoid pressure and all Wise had to do was be the first to touch him to get credit. 

But in Sunday's win against the Chiefs, Wise got his money's worth on No. 2, and he nearly had a couple of others. His sack of Drew Brees in the third quarter knocked the Saints out of field goal range and forced a Thomas Morstead punt.

To that point in the game, Wise had three quarterback hits -- and on two of those, Brees hit receivers for long gains -- so he was fired up to finally get home.

"When I finally got to him, I was excited," Wise said. "Was rushing a few times, was missing, kept hitting him, but there's nothing like getting an actual sack."

Wise finished the game with a whopping five quarterback hits, a sack and two tackles for losses, and it looks as though he's going to be able to provide the Patriots with a solid option as a pass-rusher along with fellow Arkansas product Trey Flowers.

After a summer-long debate as to where the Patriots would get their pass rush, the fourth-round pick -- the only 2017 draft pick to make the 53-man roster out of training camp -- has emerged.

Wise had an encouraging start to camp and immediately performed as one of the team's top defensive linemen. A concussion during the preseason opener against the Jaguars limited his practice time, but since he's been cleared, he immediately re-established himself as one of defensive coordinator Matt Patricia's third-down rushers. 

In 34 pass-rush snaps, Wise has recorded seven quarterback pressures (sacks, hits and hurries), according to Pro Football Focus. Though it's a small sample size, those numbers have made him one of the most productive pass-rushers in the league on a per-snap basis through two weeks.

His seven pressures is tied for eighth in the league, while Flowers (11) is fourth. 

"It's been great, these last few games," Wise said after beating the Saints. "I just want to keep showing my teammates and my coaches what I can do for this team."

Wise's experience in the SEC and physical skill set have helped him adapt to the pro game relatively quickly. He also seems to have a good grasp on how to use is length to his advantage -- perhaps as a result of working closely alongside Flowers, whose length is also one of his advantages in the trenches.

Coming into the draft, Wise measured in at 6-foot-5, 274 pounds with 35.5-inch arms and 10.5-inch hands, giving him dimensions that were strikingly similar to Chandler Jones when Jones was drafted out of Syracuse in 2012.

Bill Belichick likes what he's seen from Wise thus far, but he noted on Monday that Wise is still a work in progress, even when it comes to taking advantage of his length.

"I think that the length can be a good thing for a player if he knows how to use it and he plays with good leverage," Belichick said. "It can be a bad thing if long players play high and let other players play with better leverage and get underneath their pad level. It’s a potential opportunity, again, if it’s used properly with good pad level, leverage and technique, but it could also not be a good thing if it’s not used properly and just gives the blockers a bigger target and just isn’t effective.

"Deatrich’s worked hard on the techniques that Coach [Brendan] Daly’s been working with him on, both in the running game and the passing game. There were certainly some positive things that showed up yesterday and even last week. I still think there’s a long way to go, a lot of things that he can improve on. But, if he continues to work hard at it like he has been, then hopefully each week we’ll be able to see some improvement and better techniques and better fundamentals in all of the different areas of the game -- not just pass rush, but the running game and playing combination blocks and all the different sorts of things that come into really the heart of the issue, which is playing with good pad level, pad level leverage and technique."

After his second straight impactful performance, though encouraged, Wise expressed similar sentiments.

"There's still room to grow," he said. "I'm still learning every day. Malcom [Brown], Trey, [Lawrence] Guy [are] always telling me things I can work on daily. I'm really behind right now, I've got to catch up . . . I'm a rookie so I have a lot to learn about the game, about the playbook and about this whole thing."

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