Report: Gronkowski likely out vs. Bucs

The Patriots still hope to get tight end Rob Gronkowski back this month, but he likely won’t be in the lineup against the Bucs.
The Patriots still hope to get tight end Rob Gronkowski back this month, but he likely won’t be in the lineup against the Bucs.
Published Sept. 18, 2013

The Patriots are expected to be without tight end Rob Gronkowski again for Sunday's game against the Bucs, reported Tuesday.

That report contradicted an earlier one by ESPN, which said Gronkowski was "50-50" to return to the lineup after missing the entire preseason and the first two regular-season games following offseason surgeries on his back and forearm. reported that the number was closer to 25 percent.

Gronkowski is not on the physically unable to perform list, and New England still expects him to return before Week 6. He has been practicing with his teammates for the past two weeks.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been visibly frustrated with his inexperienced receiving corps. He struggled in Thursday's 13-10 victory over the Jets, going 19-of-39 for 185 yards while New England converted 4 of 18 third downs and had only nine first downs.

Also, Boston media reported that Patriots receiver Danny Amendola will not have surgery for a sports hernia and should return in a few weeks.

LATE MONDAY: Two rookies are making the Bengals offense tough to stop, so long as Andy Dalton keeps his cool

First-round pick Tyler Eifert and second-rounder Giovani Bernard made the biggest plays during a 20-10 victory over the Steelers that gave Cincinnati an early edge in the AFC North.

Eifert caught a 61-yard pass to set up the first of Bernard's two touchdowns. The running back got the second one by turning a short pass into a 27-yard score.

"A lot of weapons, man," All-Pro receiver A.J. Green said. "That's the biggest thing."

The Bengals' only glaring problem was Dalton's inconsistency. He missed his first three throws, twice overshooting an open receiver. Dalton was so revved up for the game that his aim was way off.

"I had a lot of adrenalin going, and the balls were sailing a little high on me at the beginning of the game," Dalton said. "I came back and played a lot better in the second half, and we did what it took to win the game."

AILING FALCONS: Atlanta linebacker Sean Weatherspoon became the third starter placed on injured reserve after a win over the Rams, though he will be eligible to rejoin the roster in Week 11. The Falcons used the one-time-only designation that allows an injured player to return, but Weatherspoon won't be able to practice for six weeks and can't play in a game for eight. Coach Mike Smith also said running back Steven Jackson will miss Sunday's game at Miami with a thigh injury.

CHARLES BACKS REID: Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles told ESPN he wants to help coach Andy Reid triumph in his return Thursday to Philadelphia, where he coached for 14 seasons. "It means a lot, so I hope we go out there and play for our coach," Charles said. "I know he has a lot of love for his Eagles, he worked there a lot of years and he probably wishes he was still coaching there."

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JAGS PROMOTION: The Jaguars and an Orlando television station that felt the need to explain why it had to air Jacksonville's game at Oakland last weekend have teamed up to get two fans to London for the team's Oct. 27 game against the 49ers. The Jaguars insisted the promotion had been in the works for some time.

BROWNS: The team cleared a roster spot for suspended receiver Josh Gordon's return by waiving receiver Tori Gurley and releasing receiver Arceto Clark.

COLTS: Left guard Donald Thomas went on injured reserve with a torn quad tendon in his right leg.

49ERS: Nose tackle Ian Williams went on injured reserve after breaking his left ankle on a cut block by the Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy.

TITANS: Running back Shonn Greene had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and is week to week.