After battling a hamstring injury for weeks, tight end Rob Gronkowski will not be able to play this week when the New England Patriots open the season against the Cardinals in Arizona on Sunday Night Football. The Patriots confirmed the news on Friday night after it was reported that Gronkowski didn’t travel with the team.
In the first quarter Brandon Pettigrew Jersey against the Philadelphia Eagles — a team that finished No. 30 in defense a year ago — the Browns had three dropped passes and exactly zero first downs.
It also featured a comically awful fake punt attempt that saw punter Britton Colquitt line up as a blocker, only to just kind of run around and do nothing:
The Browns aren’t even close to buried by the Eagles, though. Cleveland finally got a first down early in the second quarter and followed it with a 44-yard bomb to Terrelle Pryor:
The big play by the former Ohio State and Oakland Raiders quarterback put the Browns in scoring range, and Isaiah Crowell punched it in to cut the Eagles’ lead to 10-7.
It was a good bounce-back from a horrible Calvin Johnson Jersey start, but another ridiculous mistake in the third quarter gave the Eagles a pair of easy points:
It looks like Browns might be missing Alex Mack a bit. And maybe leave the poorly designed fake punts in the playbook, Hue.
But on the NFL’s welcome back night, Cam Newton absorbed several dangerous blows to the head. Most were unpenalized and none resulted in the reigning MVP being removed from the game for further evaluation.
“There was communication between medical personnel on the Carolina sideline including the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant, and the two independent certified athletic trainer spotters in the booth,” an NFL spokesman said in a statement on Friday morning, via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. “During stoppage in play while on-field officials were in the process of administrating penalties, the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant and team physician requested video from the spotters and reviewed the play. They concluded there were no indications of a concussion that would require further evaluation and the removal of the player from the game.”
The conclusion that Newton had no indications of a concussion is an odd one to make, especially after a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit in the fourth quarter from Denver Broncos safety Darian Stewart that finally drew a penalty and left Newton facedown on the field.