Gronk hurting for real Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mike Reiss says Rob Gronkowski's hip injury is nothing to be taken lightly and has had him in significant pain, and that the Pats are quite concerned about it.

Sal Paolantonio just reported the same thing on ESPN, but that Gronk will play today. As for his fellow tight end, Aaron Hernandez is still not expected to play.

As devastating as the Patriots offense can be, and as they were in the second half their demolition of the Bills last week, an absent Hernandez and a hobbled Gronkowski give the Broncos a chance to come away with an upset.

Reports continue to be that Chris Kuper will be a game-time decision, but that just reads like John Fox playing Bill Belichick's injury game.

Broncos

Brock Osweiler says he's already filled a pair of notebooks this season, and that he's making sure to notate which bits of wisdom come from Peyton Manning, so he can refer back to them someday when he's the starter. Meanwhile, Willis McGahee tells the Globe that Peyton brings to Denver a different work ethic and focus than they had last year.

Chris Gronkowski shares with Lindsay Jones that he was an accounting major at Arizona, and he claims that his lesser stature is all that keeps him from being the most well-known Gronkowski brother.

In his keys to the game, Andrew Mason says Jack Del Rio has a dilemma on his hands with how to cover the Pats' many weapons

Mike Klis goes over the Manning/Brady friendship/rivalry and says Mitch Unrein jerseys are a hot item at the team store.

Legwold says that of course, the Broncos must find a way to get to Brady; he gives the Broncos the edge when they pass and in special teams, but the Patriots the edge when Denver runs, and when the Pats have the ball.

The team held their Saturday walkthrough at a Celtics facility.

Patriots

Greg Bedard thinks the Patriots will be able to take advantage of Denver's defensive aggression with deep passes, and that they should try to run outside against the Broncos.

Jeff Howe says the way JDR mixes up his fronts will provide New England a different challenge than last week, when they faced a straightforward Bills scheme.

Karen Guregian believes the Pats' offensive versatility and balance will give the Broncos fits.

Josh McDaniels apparently didn't utter the words "Denver" or "Broncos" during his presser with the Boston media this week, and Denver Sports Grand Poobah Woody Paige is offended.

Trimmings

Esteemed concussion researcher Robert Cantu believes we need to alter how our children play sports - including a move to touch football for prior to the age of 14 - so as to prevent head injuries at a particularly vulnerable time in their lives.

Kansas City promoted DB Neiko Thorpe from their practice squad and released C Bryan Mattison; Green Bay activated suspended DE Mike Neal and released DE Phillip Merling.

Browns KR Josh Cribbs says Jerome Harrison, the former Eagles RB who had a brain tumor removed, has been suffering from seizures that have hospitalized him.

Jerry Rice and Barry Sanders have been brought back into the football fold by their sons, but each is trying to maintain a low profile.

Then-Jets coach Eric Mangini was apparently hot after Matt Schaub six years ago, and the team even offered DE Jon Abraham straight up for the QB in a trade.

Scrapple

Doug Farrar considers the rise of the no-huddle around the league, much to the chagrin of Nick Saban.

Keith Goldner notes that although teams should be passing more from their own goal lines, there is also some value to creating more room for their punters to operate from.

Gee, is it any surprise that the NFL franchise with a racial slur for a name was also the last to integrate?

Matt Bowen discusses how teams should go about defending against RG3 in the red zone.

When tracking records involving consecutive NFL game streaks, like Drew Brees's potential TD pass record, why not include playoff games? Scott Kacsmar poses the question. Of course, postseason numbers are almost never mixed in with regular season figures in any statistical discussion in any sport, so this would require quite a change.

Offal

In his Sunday column, Ian Rapoport says Jets players and coaches know that Tebow Time is coming, and that Jay Cutler's attitude will prevent him from being the face of the Bears.

But the legendary Tom Nalen says, "it should never be Tebow Time," citing Timmy's lack of intelligence and inability to throw the ball in calling him the "65th best quarterback in the NFL." Reggie Rivers agrees that Teebs can't be a successful NFL QB, but he figures the Jets have nothing to lose by starting him.

We know who you're rooting for. But who do you think will win today?

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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