Bedard: 'Defense needs to pull together without Gronkowski'


Bedard: 'Defense needs to pull together without Gronkowski'

How badly will the loss of Rob Gronkowski affect the Patriots' chances at earning a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the AFC?

The guys on Sports Tonight talk about how tough it was already to earn one of those two seeds -- and now without Gronk it certainly won't be easier.

That said, the Boston Globe's Greg Bedard thinks the team can still win without him.

"If this team can't survive this, then they have big problems" Bedard said. "Rob's a very good player, but they have plenty of weapons ... they brought in other guys, they brought in Brandon Lloyd. They have Welker, they have Edelman. There are plenty of options on this team to be able to survive. This offense is averaging almost 36 points a game. You take Rob out of it, it affects it, yes, but it certainly far from a season-killer for this team."

Hear what else they had to say in the video, and let us know your thoughts on the Pats chances without Gronk.

David Backes out at least 2 more games (and likely longer) after elbow procedure


David Backes out at least 2 more games (and likely longer) after elbow procedure

The Bruins look like they’ll be without gritty veteran forward David Backes for at least the next couple of games, and probably more like the next couple of weeks.

It was announced that the gritty Bruins forward underwent a procedure on Monday remove the olecranon bursa from his elbow, and that “his condition will be updated after the weekend.” The procedure is commonly performed when bursitis in the elbow becomes an untenable, and seems more like an injury that worsens over time rather than anything that happened in a particular game this season.

Backes’ effectiveness did seem to be impacted after he got into a fight with Nazem Kadri in the second game of the season in Toronto, but it’s unknown if there’s any connection between that sequence and the forward’s elbow issues. According to the AAOS (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons) website, it may take “10-14 days” for the skin to heal following the procedure, and three-to-four weeks before a doctor would clear the average person to resume normal activity.

The 32-year-old Backes is off to a good start for the Bruins with two goals and four points in five games prior to missing Tuesday night’s loss to the Minnesota Wild, and his absence makes an already-thin Bruins forward group smaller, softer and much less dangerous. With Backes on the shelf for at least the next two games against the Rangers and Detroit Red Wings, the Bruins have recalled young center Austin Czarnik after his short stint with the Providence Bruins.