THE INJURIES continue to mount. The depth chart continues to change. Rob Gronkowski still isn’t walking through that door. The passing game continues to struggle.

The NFL trade deadline is a week from Tuesday and one would think the Patriots are busy on the phone trying to get Tom Brady some help.

Antonio Brown wants back in — but the NFL isn’t in much of a hurry to help that happen.

Speaking Friday at the league meetings in Florida, commissioner Roger Goodell, not a very popular guy in New England, said, “We’re still working at that. I will probably be getting an update when I get back to New York, but our folks have been working diligently on that, going through materials. There’s a lot of material to go through. When we reach a conclusion, we’ll obviously let you know.”

In other words, Brown isn’t coming back any time soon. Heck, we don’t even know he would be back if he were reinstated by the league. Rookie N’Keal Henry might help.

Remember, too, the Pats are 6-0 and don’t figure to lose at the Jets Monday or at home against the Browns next Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Jets await, and DeMaryius Thomas will be playing against the Pats, who nursed him through his Achilles rehab and then cut him, brought him back and traded him to make room for Brown. He’s active now and helping young Sam Darnold — and comes in with a chip on his shoulder over what happened in New England.

“It was insulting, for sure,” Thomas told the New York Daily News. “Once I got cut, I could have just come here (to the Jets) and not stayed there and re-sign. When they re-signed me, I was thinking that I was good. Two weeks later, I was gone. So, it’s like, ‘Why did I waste my time?’ Because at the end of the day, it was kind of a waste of time for me.

“They took a chance to bring me in and helped me get healthy. I always knew I was going to be able to still play … and it would have worked out because I was still learning their offense. Josh McDaniels drafted me. So, I felt like I was cool. But even having conversations with him and couple other people, it was like, ‘You’re going to be OK.’ Two weeks later, AB gets cut … and then they kicked me (to the curb) and shipped me out like I’m just a rookie.”

Thursday, head coach Bill Belichick actually addressed Thomas, saying, “Look, Demaryius is a great kid. I have a ton of respect for him, very professional and did everything we asked him to do. Our circumstances changed a couple times in that period leading up to when he was traded. I felt like I was truthful with him but things changed and therefore what I said was not the same as what it was — what I’d said previously. It is what it is.”

Proud heritage

Julian Edelman takes his Judaism seriously and continues to explore and treasure his background. In a Sept. 26 interview with The Jewish Journal, Edelman, asked “Why do you feel so connected to Judaism?” said, “I really feel like the Jewish story connects with me on a personal level, because it relates closely to with my journey.

“Stories of adversity and overcoming the odds, David and Goliath, it all fit. As I learned more and more, took my trip to Israel, was able to meet and connect with the community, it really took hold of me. Being able to represent the Jewish people is an honor, this group of people who have overcome so much, being a mouthpiece for them came naturally.”

Speaking of Edelman, John Smoltz, the No. 1 baseball analyst on the air in these eyes, says the Yankees’ Brett Gardner reminds him of the Pats’ No. 11. He said he could see Gardner as a slot receiver.

The Patriots Hall of Fame has unveiled a new display, “Yes, It’s Still a Dynasty,” honoring what has gone on down there the last 20 years.

Looking around

How much has baseball changed? The Astros and Yankees played Game 6 of the ALCS Saturday night in Houston — and neither had an actual starting pitcher in line to start. Both promised bullpen games. …

The NBA, already reeling from the whole China thing, took another hit when rookie Zion Williamson, the pride of this year’s rookie class, went down for a few weeks with a knee injury. Remember, he had one at Duke after his sneaker exploded on a cut. …

The Patriots, who always seem to get all kinds of unneeded schedule help (note the first eight games of this season), appeared to get another one when Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes went down with a knee injury Thursday night. It looked season-ending but the reports Friday were positive and it appears the QB could play when the Chiefs come in Dec. 7. …

Just a hunch, but I believe J.D. Martinez will in fact opt out of his Red Sox contract the day after the World Series. Scott Boras‘ client was way underpaid last time through and while the options are limited, you have to think he will try it again. …

The Steven Wright saga came to a close when the knuckleballer with off-field problems was released. He has two strikes against him (domestic dispute, PEDs) but with so little pitching out there … doesn’t someone take a flyer on him? …

Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, the top two picks in last year’s NHL draft, played against each other for the first time Thursday night. Hughes registered an assist for his first NHL point, and his Devils got their first win, beating the Rangers. Hughes scored his first NHL goal Saturday. Kakko has one goal and is a minus-4 in five games. …

Joe Maddon filled the first of the eight managerial openings and inherits a team with no pitching and under the growing cloud over the death of ace Tyler Skaggs. But Shohei Ohtani will be pitching again and free agent-to-be Gerrit Cole is from SoCal and Arte Moreno has plenty of money … However, Cole grew up a Yankees fan and New York is looking for an ace. …

Jalen Ramsey lost 13 percent of his salary when traded from Jacksonville to Los Angeles because Florida has no state tax. And by trading the guy in the discussion against Stephon Gilmore for the league’s top corner, the Rams, who dealt two first-rounders, won’t, barring another deal, have a first-round pick in any draft from 2017-21. …

In a touch of irony, Bryce Harper‘s birthday was the day after his old team, the Nationals, reached the World Series for the first time, and in their first year without him. Jealous? Harper wished his old pals well. And speaking of those Nats, we don’t know how the long layoff will affect them but don’t sleep on their chances to win it all. …

The baseballs haven’t been flying out of postseason stadiums the way they were during the regular season, leading, of course, to the theory that MLB changed the balls back to what they were prior to 2019’s explosion. Is the ball the reason? Cooler weather (clearly not a factor in Houston)?

“Privately, the players I’ve talked to believe (the ball) is different,” says ESPN’s Buster Olney. “The science says that it’s different. It certainly feels like a different game than it was during the regular season.” …

Is it me, or are we seeing more flags picked up in games, both in college and pro? …

The Cardinals hit .130 with a .179 slugging percentage in getting swept by the Nats. How bad is .130? National League pitchers hit a combined .128 in 2019 --and Washington pitchers struck out 36.1 percent of the hitters faced in the four games. And they became the seventh team all-time never to lead at any point in a seven-game series. …

Charlie McAvoy on the Bruins’ 5-1-1 start heading into Toronto for the start of a home-and-home Saturday night: “With a high ceiling we set for ourselves, we come back into locker room and say, ‘We’re not playing our best,’ but we’re still getting results. We’ll take it. We’re building it and it’s going to keep going up.” …

The usage of starters as relievers in the postseason can have an effect on the following season, Joe Girardi, working for Fox television, said, “What do I believe the cost? The Boston Red Sox rotation this year.” Good point. …

My quote of the week was from Shaquille O’Neal on Facebook. Shaq said, “I can’t end my message with, ‘Love, Shaq,’ because the B-52s ruined that for me.” Google it. …

Thursday marked the 30th anniversary of the World Series earthquake — and also the 15th anniversary of Dave Roberts stealing second against the Yankees. Personal note: I missed covering the 1989 World Series celebrating the birth of my now 30-year-old son, Taylor, and I was the official scorer at Fenway for that strange ending to Game 4. …

Weird stat: David Pastrnak, a true goal scorer (six goals in the last two games prior to Saturday night), is just 3-for-18 in shootouts. Can’t help but recalling Wayne Gretzky used to say he hated breakaways. …

The Lowell Spinners are among the 40 teams in line to lose their big-league affiliation as MLB looks to lower the number of minor league teams. Sounds like more ways to put cash in the MLB owners’ pockets. Stay tuned. …

Obviously, CC Sabathia would have loved to have exited baseball under better circumstances, but his left shoulder gave out on him after 58,829 pitches in a Hall of Fame career. …

The great Connor McDavid became only the second Oiler to record 17 points in the first seven games of a season. The other? No surprise it was Gretzky – and the Great One did it FIVE TIMES. …

Are the Astros whistling to tip off pitches in the postseason? “In reality, it’s a joke,” Houston skipper A.J. Hinch said before Game 4 in New York. “Major League Baseball does a lot to ensure the fairness of the game. There’s people everywhere. If you go through the dugouts and the clubhouses and the hallways, there’s like so many people around that are doing this. And then when I get contacted about some questions about whistling, it made me laugh because it’s ridiculous. And had I known that it would take something like that to set off the Yankees or any other team, we would have practiced it in spring training.”…

Salute to Eluid Kiochoge, who last Saturday ran a 1:59.40 marathon, the first one ever run in under two hours. “It has taken 65 years for a human being to make history in sport after Roger Bannister,” Kipchoge said of the man who ran the first four-minute mile, in 1954. “I can tell people that no human is limited. I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today.”

Warrick Dunn played 181 games in the NFL. Great athlete, but what he’s done off the field is the real story. Just recently, Dunn donated his 173rd home to a single mother. Think about that. “I got to witness the first time Warrick Dunn surprised a single mom with a new home when he was playing for the Bucs,” tweets former Bucs coach Tony Dungy. “More than 20 years and over 170 homes later he is still doing it. We in the media won’t tell stories like this often enough!” …

Red Sox manager Alex Cora sent an Instagram salute to fellow Puerto Rican Dave Martinez to congratulate him for reaching the World Series. Remember, this pair was the first Puerto Rican managers to face each other in an MLB game. Under a picture of them, Cora used Spanish for “Felicidades Dave, excelente trabajo. está orgulloso de ti. #WorldSeries2019,” Rough translation? “Congratulations, Dave, excellent job. Puerto Rico is proud of you.”

Thayer Thomas, who caught two touchdown passes for NC State in its terrible loss at BC on Saturday, was drafted by the Red Sox in the 33rd round back in June. …

The best corner? Gilmore votes Gilmore. “Listen, I’m going to say this, I’m going to say it,” Gilmore said to Kyle Van Noy on the latter’s YouTube show. “A lot of guys say they’re the best corner but I feel like my job is harder each and every week because I have that guy (the top receiver) everywhere he goes. I go to the slot. I go outside. I’m not bailing. I’m not scared. I’m in their face every snap. So, that proves my point. A lot of guys don’t do that.”

Finally, the Nats making the World Series leaves the Mariners as the only team to never get that far. The M’s, born in 1977, have reached the postseason four times, but not since 2001.

Mike Shalin covers Boston pro sports for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is shalinmike@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @mscotshay.