Jaguars' Barry Church fined $25K for hit on Rob Gronkowski

Jan 28, 2018, 00:35
Jaguars' Barry Church fined $25K for hit on Rob Gronkowski

It's likely that the Patriots keep expressing optimism for Gronk's return to the lineup for Super Bowl LII against Philadelphia.

The New England Patriots headed indoors Friday for a non-padded walkthrough inside the Empower Field House.

Brady noted that Gronkowski's mere presence elevates the mood on the practice field.

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Almost a week later, Gronkowski hasn't been cleared to practice and remains in the NFL's concussion protocol. With the Super Bowl eight days away, this is an encouraging sign for Gronkowski and the entire New England offense.

Gronkowski left the team's AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first half Sunday after a helmet-to-helmet hit by safety Barry Church.

"It's always great to have him out there. So it obviously hurts when he's not out there for a lot of reasons, but he's doing the best he can do and we're all hopeful". And only then can doctors officially clear them to play.

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The only Patriot missing was defensive tackle Malcom Brown, who hasn't practiced since Wednesday and was listed "questionable" with a foot injury.

Those instances don't include any stints on injured reserve, including his season-ending ACL tear in December 2013. The game status was listed as if the Super Bowl was being held this Sunday.

"What? Let's talk about distractions", Brady joked when he was asked about the series Saturday.

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