Belichick says Gronkowski 'deserved' TE record

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Belichick says Gronkowski 'deserved' TE record

FOXBORO -- With 90 seconds remaining and the Patriots ahead by 28, New England's Brian Hoyer dropped back and lofted a pass down the left sideline to the player who is arguably the team's offensive MVP. Rob Gronkowski hauled in the 22-yard reception and crashed to the ground with Bills corner Drayton Florence on top of him and teammate Ryan Mallett over both of them, exulting. The reception propelled Gronk past New Orleans' Jimmy Graham to set the record for receiving yards by a tight end. The record, previously held by Kellen Winslow (1,290), was held for a spell on Sunday by Graham, who finished his game against the Panthers with 1,310. Gronkowski needed five yards to pass Graham before the final reception. Given the disdain Bill Belichick regularly shows for yard-based statistics and the stress he puts on team accomplishments over individual stats, the pursuit of the record was fair evidence that records do indeed matter. "That last play, I had Billy O'Brien, the Patriots offensive coordinator call that because I wasn't sure exactly where Gronkowski was and I thought that he deserved a chance to go up and try and make another play," said Belichick. "He's had a great year and he's worked hard, I thought he deserved that. He made a nice play."The season finale has featured personal accomplishment pursuits in the past. From Doug Flutie's drop kick to Vinny Testaverde's touchdown pass to the team last year making sure BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a chance to get to 1,000 yards, Belichick has done it. I don't think he'd do it when a game was on the line, nor do I think he'd make repeated attempts to chase a record. For instance, if Gronkowski hadn't caught that ball, I'm not sure Belichick would have run another play solely to gain the yards. But there are clearly exceptions to the Belichick rules of stats being meaningless.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: What's going on between Patriots, Butler?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: What's going on between Patriots, Butler?

0:41 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith discuss what’s going on between the Patriots and Malcolm Butler after Bill Belichick praised Jonathan Jones and Eric Rowe but didn’t have much to say on Butler.

5:39 - John Farrell thinks David Price out of the bullpen can be similar to Andrew Miller with the Indians last year in the playoffs. Our panel on BST break it down.

10:35 - Curran, Holley, Smith, and Phil Perry talk about the NFL ratings being down and why that continues to be.

15:15 - Evan Drellich joins BST after the Red Sox win to explain why Drew Pomeranz could be even more threatening, how good the bullpen actually is, and the offense not driving in runs.

Krug, Forbacka Karlsson suffer upper body injuries vs. Red Wings

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Krug, Forbacka Karlsson suffer upper body injuries vs. Red Wings

BOSTON – The Bruins ended Tuesday night’s preseason home date with another feel-good victory over the Red Wings, but it may have come at a cost.

Both Torey Krug and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson were injured in the second period of the B’s 4-2 win over the Red Wings at TD Garden, and didn’t return to the game. Krug was hit in the face with a puck in the defensive zone during the second period, and quickly exited the ice with Bruins trainer Don DelNegro after the impact of the puck hitting his face initially took his feet out from under him.  

“[Krug] clearly didn’t finish the game, and took a shot up in the facial area,” said Bruce Cassidy of Krug, who had a couple of shots on net in 9:10 of ice time while largely playing with Charlie McAvoy in an offensive-minded pairing. “We’ll probably have an update tomorrow.”

Forbacka Karlsson took a hard tumble into the end boards in the game’s middle period, and never returned after serving up the primary assist on Danton Heinen’s goal earlier in that very same period. JFK tried to return to Tuesday night’s win over the Red Wings, according to Cassidy, but was kept out of the game with an upper body injury that has his status as questionable moving forward.

“He went into the boards late in the second. He’s day-to-day, upper body. I think wanted to – he did come back and try [to return to the game],” said Cassidy of JFK, who put up an assist and a plus-1 rating in 8:37 of ice time before leaving the game. “I don’t think it’s serious, but I can’t speculate. We’ll get another update tomorrow. It didn’t look good, but I don’t think it’s as bad as it looked. We’ll know more [about JFK] tomorrow.”

It certainly sounds like both Krug and JFK could miss a day or two of practice moving forward after the injury wear-and-tear of preseason action, but the hope is that the Black and Gold won’t be missing a couple of key performers for anything more than that.  

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