Gronkowski denies Pats pressured him to play

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tight end Rob Gronkowski said Wednesday that he feels no pressure from the Patriots to return to the field before he's healthy.

"Everything is great around here," said Gronkowski, who has not played since offseason surgeries on his back and forearm.

The Patriots and Gronkowski disagreed over his availability last week, the Boston Herald reported. The Patriots, the newspaper reported, believed he was healthy enough to return Sunday, but Gronkowski and his advisers were wary about returning too soon. The paper also reported the dispute began during training camp with the team believing he could play by Week 2 and Gronkowski saying Week 6. "We were on the same page from the get-go, and we're still on the same page," Gronkowski said. "I'm feeling better every week. So I'm still sticking to the motto of day by day."

Book: NFL hid game's link to brain damage

The NFL worked to deny a link between playing football and brain damage for two decades, according to a book set to be released Tuesday.

League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth, written by ESPN's Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, says the actions started under ex-commissioner Paul Tagliabue and continued under Roger Goodell. The actions, the book says, included discrediting scientists, citing flawed data, and using a public relations strategy to keep the public unaware of what its executives knew.

49er changes name: San Francisco safety Donte Whitner filed paperwork to change his name by removing the W — after receiving permission from his mother. Whitner, who has long been nicknamed "Mr. Hitner," has talked to Nike to determine how many No. 31 Whitner jerseys are still in stores and if he might need to pay to make the switch. He expects the new name to be on the back of his jersey for the 49ers' game Oct. 13.

Ex-Bulls QB to Seattle: The Seahawks claimed former USF quarterback B.J. Daniels after the 49ers waived him Tuesday. The rookie was cut loose to make room for John Skelton, but the 49ers said they hoped to re-sign him to the practice squad. Seattle has only two other quarterbacks on the roster, Russell Wilson and Tarvaris Jackson.

Area grad honored: Dexter McCluster, a Largo High grad, was named AFC special teams player of the week. He returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown against the Giants on Sunday.

Two back from bans: Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon and Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin practiced for the first time since being suspended for four games during the preseason. Blackmon (substance abuse) is expected to play Sunday. Seattle has not decided if Irvin (banned substance) will.

Broncos: Starting linebacker Danny Trevathan was carted off the field with a knee injury. But an MRI exam showed no structural damage. The team said he is questionable for Sunday.

Cardinals: Vic So'oto became the team's fourth linebacker to go on season-ending injured reserve. He sustained a concussion Sunday against the Bucs, but Arizona cited a chest injury.

Chiefs: Running back Jamaal Charles missed practice because of blisters on his feet but is expected to play Sunday.

Jets: Former Florida receiver David Nelson, cut by the Browns during camp, signed. The club could be without receivers Santonio Holmes (hamstring) and Stephen Hill (concussion) on Monday.

Lions: Three starters — corner Chris Houston (hamstring), safety Glover Quin (ankle) injury and safety Louis Delmas (knee) missed practice. Their status for Sunday hasn't been determined.

Packers: Two starters, corner Casey Hawyard (hamstring) and running back James Starks (knee), won't play Sunday.

Raiders: Quarterback Matt Flynn, who started last week, will be the No. 3 on Sunday, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Matt McGloin, an undrafted rookie out of Penn State, will back up Terrelle Pryor.

Ravens: Jacoby Jones practiced for the first time since spraining his right knee in Week 1 when a teammate ran into him while fielding a punt. His status for Sunday hasn't been determined.

Steelers: Left tackle Levi Brown was acquired from Ari­zona for a conditional pick. He started all four games this season.

Titans: Safety Michael Griffin was fined $21,000 for his high hit on Jets receiver Stephen Hill during an interception return. Hill sustained a concussion.

AMERICAN CONFERENCE

East W L T Pct PF PA

New England 4 0 0 1.000 89 57

Miami 3 1 0 .750 91 91

N.Y. Jets 2 2 0 .500 68 88

Buffalo 2 2 0 .500 88 93

South W L T Pct PF PA

Indianapolis 3 1 0 .750 105 51

Tennessee 3 1 0 .750 98 69

Houston 2 2 0 .500 90 105

Jacksonville 0 4 0 .000 31 129

North W L T Pct PF PA

Baltimore 2 2 0 .500 91 87

Cleveland 2 2 0 .500 64 70

Cincinnati 2 2 0 .500 81 81

Pittsburgh 0 4 0 .000 69 110

West W L T Pct PF PA

Denver 4 0 0 1.000 179 91

Kansas City 4 0 0 1.000 102 41

San Diego 2 2 0 .500 108 102

Oakland 1 3 0 .250 71 91

NATIONAL CONFERENCE

East W L T Pct PF PA

Dallas 2 2 0 .500 104 85

Philadelphia 1 3 0 .250 99 138

Washington 1 3 0 .250 91 112

N.Y. Giants 0 4 0 .000 61 146

South W L T Pct PF PA

New Orleans 4 0 0 1.000 108 55

Carolina 1 2 0 .333 68 36

Atlanta 1 3 0 .250 94 104

Tampa Bay 0 4 0 .000 44 70

North W L T Pct PF PA

Detroit 3 1 0 .750 122 101

Chicago 3 1 0 .750 127 114

Green Bay 1 2 0 .333 96 88

Minnesota 1 3 0 .250 115 123

West W L T Pct PF PA

Seattle 4 0 0 1.000 109 47

San Francisco 2 2 0 .500 79 95

Arizona 2 2 0 .500 69 89

St. Louis 1 3 0 .250 69 121

Thursday

Buffalo at Cleveland, 8:25

Sunday

Detroit at Green Bay, 1

New Orleans at Chicago, 1

Kansas City at Tennessee, 1

Jacksonville at St. Louis, 1

New England at Cincinnati, 1

Seattle at Indianapolis, 1

Baltimore at Miami, 1

Philly at N.Y. Giants, 1

Carolina at Arizona, 4:05

San Diego at Oakland, 4:25

Denver at Dallas, 4:25

Houston at S. Francisco, 8:30

Monday

N.Y. Jets at Atlanta, 8:40

Open: Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington

Gronkowski denies Pats pressured him to play 10/02/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 9:54pm]

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