The New England Patriots are likely going to be without Rob Gronkowski again in Week 14 after the tight end suffered a knee injury a couple weeks ago. Danny Amendola was able to return after being out and Scott Chandler likely will start in place of Gronkowski again for Tom Brady.
Gronkowski injured his knee in the loss against the Denver Broncos in Week 12 and there is a chance he could miss the rest of the regular season with the injury. According to Jason Cole at Bleacher Report, Gronkowski said that he will be back on the field when he is "100 percent" and there currently is "no timetable" for his return. Gronkowski said he is considered "week-to-week" and when he is cleared to play he will get back into the lineup.
Gronkowski was ruled out for Week 13 and according to Adam Schefter at ESPN, it's "unlikely" that Gronkowski will play in Week 14 against the Houston Texans. Gronkowski had been the leading receiver for the Patriots with 57 catches for 931 yards and nine touchdowns and his injury is just the latest for the team on the offensive side of the ball. The team has had Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis out, while Danny Amendola was out in Week 12.
Amendola was able to return last week and that was a big help for the offense with Gronkowski out. Amendola is a solid fantasy option for team owners with Edelman still on his way back, while Brandon LaFell also could continue to see increased targets. Scott Chandler started in place of Gronkowski last week and was solid with four catches for 61 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. Expect Tom Brady to use Chandler again this week with Gronkowski likely being out.
The Patriots were without Dont'a Hightower last week with a knee injury and there's a chance he could miss the game this week as well. Hightower was listed as questionable last week after practicing on a limited basis and this week he will be looking to get back into the lineup. Hightower and his status may depend on whether he can practice leading into the game. Hightower has 55 total tackles this season and 3.5 sacks. Jamie Collins was able to return last week after being out for an extended period with an illness.
The Patriots come into the weekend having lost two games in a row and while they are still in position to take the AFC East, the team is now third in the conference standings. The team lost to Denver and Philadelphia over the past two weeks and now the Bengals and Broncos are leading the conference for the time being. All three teams have a 10-2 record right now and the Broncos have the head-to-head advantage over the Pats, while the Bengals have the best conference record. The Patriots still have a chance to get the number one seed, as the Broncos and Bengals are playing in Week 16, but they will also need some help down the stretch to get it.