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Mike Shalin's Working Press: Groaning over Gronk's groin

September 18. 2017 8:28PM
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is tackled by New Orleans Saints safety Vonn Bell during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday. The Patriots defeated the Saints 36-20. (Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- HAD TO check the time stamp on this one, but at 12:33 Sunday, the great prognosticator looked into his Facebook crystal ball and said, “Thinking Gronk has a big day.”

Then, despite dropping a touchdown pass, Rob Gronkowski had a big day as he and Tom Brady dominated a woeful Saints defense.

Then, just like that, Gronk, who had six catches for 116 yards, including spectacular 53-yard touchdown, was hurt.


Monday, standing in front of his locker at Gillette Stadium, Gronk said his groin injury was no big deal — adding he was “day-to-day.”

“The reports say out there that it was my groin and, yes, it is my groin,” he said. “It’s nothing serious and I’m just day to day.”

We’ve heard this before. And he may be right this time. But here’s the thing: The most-dangerous offensive weapon in football has again become a “How’s Gronk” and it’s only two games into the season.

“Super relieved,” he said. “I mean, I knew there was nothing really wrong. So I’m good.”

Asked if expects to play Sunday against Houston, Gronkowski said, “I’m day to day. I feel good. Nothing serious.”

The Texans, every bit as banged up as the Pats, will come calling. A team that lost THREE tight ends, including Londonderry High grad Ryan Griffin, and then managed to shut down the feeble Bengals last Thursday, has all kinds of injury questions plus has been hammered in Foxborough. Keep an eye on both injury reports later this week.

Asked to comment on Gronk’s injury, Bill Belichick surprised no one by saying, “No, I don’t have any updates. We’ll put the injury report out on Wednesday like we always do and follow the procedures that are outlined by the league.”

Gronkowski, who scored his first touchdown but also dropped a touchdown pass Sunday, was thrilled with the way the offense came out and rode Brady to destroy a bad defense.

“As an offense, we started clicking out there,” he said. “We were clicking first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, fourth quarter and we were working well together. The ball was getting spread out or spread out to many different players and everyone was doing their job, communicating well and it went well.

“The fast start’s always important. “It was just good to get it and what’s good is we went all the way through the game to finish the game as an offense to close out the game.”

Ready to go

Colin Kaepernick says he’s working out and ready to step in and help an NFL team.

Last week, the center of NFL controversy got some rather unexpected words of support.

Speaking on CBS Sunday Morning, Brady, not one to get mixed up in these kinds of things, was asked of Kaepernick will get another chance, saying, “I sure hope so. I’ve always watched him and admired him, the way that he’s played he was a great young quarterback. He came to our stadium and beat us and took his team to the Super Bowl.

“He accomplished a lot in the pros as a player. And he’s certainly qualified and I hope he gets a shot.”

There was an NFL milestone hit Sunday: Browns tackle Joe Thomas recorded his 10,000th consecutive snap.

Let that sink in for a second.

It earned a tweet from fellow Cleveland star LeBron James, reading, “Unbelievable @joethomas73!! 10k consecutive snaps played! Playing in the trenches too! Crazy man! Congrats big fella!!”

Matchup set?

It certainly looks like Red Sox-Astros in the ALDS — and you would have to think Houston’s pickup of Justin Verlander makes them the favorites.

Having two aces atop their rotation, the feeling is Dallas Keuchel will go in the opener, but it’s a nice choice for manager A.J. Hinch.

Verlander agreed to go to Houston for a chance to win his first World Series. So far, the late-season marriage has been a thing of beauty for the right-hander. All he’s done is gone 3-0 while giving up only two runs in his three starts with the ’Stros.

The Astros won their division for the first time since 2001, when they finished off a run of four division title in five years. But remember, this team that started as the Colt 45’s in 1962 has NEVER won the World Series.

They are also playing for their city and area after the Harvey floods.

Sound familiar?

“This is our city,” Hinch said after clinching.

Again, sound familiar? He was just missing the expletive.

Here and there

Had the pleasure of hearing former Bruins radio announcer Dave Goucher do his first TV game for the Vegas Golden Knights Sunday — and his new team scored nine goals in its first game. … The Bruins, who opened their exhibition sked Monday night on the road against Montreal, have two home games this week — tonight against Detroit and Thursday vs. Philadelphia. … The Rams and Chargers drew a combined 81,993 Sunday in L.A., a day after USC-Texas drew 84,714. Remember, though, the Chargers are playing in a 27,000-seat stadium for now. … Kyrie Irving told ESPN he didn’t talk to James about his trade demand. “Why would I have to?” he said. … From’s Dave Laurila: “Chris Sale so far in September: 1-1, .3.94; in September 2016: 2-3, 4.39; in September 2015: 1-4, 4.34.” … If Tony Romo can get over talking over Jim Nantz during plays, he will be close to perfect as a color man. Sunday, Romo, 37, called a game between Drew Brees, 38, and Brady, 40. … Boston College coach Steve Addazio, already under fire, didn’t do himself any favors by letting the clock run out in the first half with a chance to score Saturday against Notre Dame.… Finally, from @soxnotes: “Rick Porcello is 10-0 with a 3.69 ERA this season when the Red Sox have scored 3+ runs with him in the game. Boston is 13-0 in those games.”

Mike Shalin covers Boston pro sports for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is

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