The injury woes continue for the New England Patriots who simply cannot seem to stay healthy. While some may believe these issues are being exaggerated prior to the playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs, big names are still on the injury report and they simply cannot be denied. While the Patriots were happy to get Julian Edelman back on the field, they have lost Rob Gronkowski and it is unclear just how serious the issue is.
There are conflicting reports about just how injured Gronkowski is. The tight end had been assumed healthy until he missed practice Tuesday, was limited Wednesday and then was out again on Thursday. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Gronkowski is dealing with a knee injury and missed practice to get an injection to treat the problem. However, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport is noting that the tight end never received any kind of injection and should be fine. It is anyone's guess regarding just how healthy Gronkowski is. Schefter noted that the tight end is expected to play against Kansas City regardless and his impact should be just the same as usual.
That should be good news for New England. According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, Tom Brady is officially off the injury report after dealing with an ankle injury. Julian Edelman is healthy from his broken foot. Danny Amendola has healed from the knee issue. That means the offense will finally have their top three receivers on the field together for the first time in awhile. Brady has been trying to make something out of nothing in terms of the passing game with Brandon LaFell having to step up and it was hit or miss at times. Now he heads into a game against the red-hot Kansas City defense with at least most of his offense intact.
"There are a lot of people that sacrifice a lot to get to this point," Brady said, via NESN.com. "This is not a one-week event. This is a year-round event that you commit to, to play in moments like this, and this is when you need to be at your best. The ramifications of a loss are a lot different. You really don't have next week to get it right."
The last remaining question for the Patriots is whether or not Steven Jackson can handle the work load as the leading rusher. The Patriots plan on using the veteran as their lead back with Brandon Bolden and James White rotating in. Jackson has been shaking off the rust after sitting out almost all of the regular season. He admits that he does not have the playoff experience that some of the other guys on the roster have, but he is ready to go come Saturday.
"I know I don't have the most playoff experience around here, but the game of football comes down to being able to execute, do your job, and being able to do that [starts] with a great week of preparation. I've always prided myself on that. The stakes are high, if you don't win you go home, but at the end of the day you have to be able to play relaxed and loose, and that's what I'm going in thinking Saturday," Jackson said, via ESPN.com.