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NFL notebook: Gronk reportedly won't play Sunday

By
The Sports Xchange
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski tries to escape a tackle from Kansas City Chiefs safety Josh Shaw during their game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on October 14, 2018. Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski tries to escape a tackle from Kansas City Chiefs safety Josh Shaw during their game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on October 14, 2018. Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI | License Photo

The New England Patriots are expected to be without tight end Rob Gronkowski for a second straight week.

Gronkowski will sit out Sunday's matchup at the Tennessee Titans because of back and ankle injuries, the Boston Herald reported Saturday.

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Although Gronkowski termed his playing status a "coach's decision," a source told the newspaper that the tight end is expected to be held out with the hope that the additional rest will have him healthy for the stretch run.

New England, winners of six straight and sitting atop the AFC East, has a bye next weekend, which would allow Gronkowski nearly a month of rest before a potential return to the lineup against the New York Jets in Week 12.

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If Gronkowski is inactive Sunday, it will mark the third game he has missed this season. He was sidelined for a Week 7 victory at Chicago and was held out of last weekend's win over Green Bay.

--Wide receiver Dez Bryant did indeed suffer a torn Achilles tendon, ending his season with the New Orleans Saints before it began.

An MRI confirmed that Bryant tore his Achilles on Friday during his second practice with the team, ESPN reported Saturday afternoon.

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The injury occurred two days after Bryant signed a one-year contract with New Orleans as a free agent. Bryant was hurt on the final play of Friday's practice, according to ESPN.

--Matt Barkley will make his first start at quarterback for the Buffalo Bills when they visit the New York Jets on Sunday.

The Bills announced Saturday that rookie quarterback Josh Allen was ruled out after being limited in practice all week. He hasn't played since suffering an elbow sprain during a 20-13 loss on Oct. 14 at Houston.

Buffalo decided to give Barkley a shot after Nathan Peterman was ineffective in last week's 41-9 loss versus Chicago. Derek Anderson, who played in a 37-5 loss at Indianapolis on Oct. 21 and a 25-6 loss to New England on Oct. 29, is in concussion protocol.

--The Washington Redskins will again be without wide receiver Jamison Crowder for Sunday's game at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

There was hope that Crowder could return to the lineup after he was able to practice this week, but the Redskins announced Saturday that he was ruled out because of an ankle injury.

It will be the fifth consecutive game missed by Crowder, who has been sidelined since posting four receptions for 55 yards in a 43-19 loss at New Orleans on Oct. 8.

Washington learned earlier this week that fellow wide receiver Paul Richardson will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery.

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