The New England Patriots have not been a lucky team in terms of injuries this season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. After losing Julian Edelman and Donte Stallworth over the past few weeks, it appears as if New England is finally about to get some good news on the NFL injury front.
The Gronk is back. So is Branch.
Rob Gronkowski is going to return to practice for the Patriots this week, as he looks to return from a broken forearm suffered on November 19. It remains to be seen whether or not Gronkowski will play on Sunday night when the Patriots host the San Francisco 49ers, but he is hoping to at least make some strides during practice during the week. While New England has sewn up the AFC East, they have now set their sights on winning the No. 1 seed and sewing up home field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs, especially after they embarrassed the Houston Texans on Monday night.
Also, after losing Edelman and Stallworth, the Patriots are expected to bring back Deion Branch yet again in 2012, having already signed and released him on multiple occasions throughout the season. It is expected that they will immediately insert him into the lineup on Sunday night, which is what the did with Stallworth after Edelman was lost for the season. Stallworth actually came up with a big play during Monday’s win over the Texans, but he became the latest New England receiver to go down for the rest of the season.
New England has two rather easy games remaining after Sunday night’s game against the 49ers, as they will face the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins to close out the season. With Edelman and Stallworth lost for the year, the Patriots would like to get Branch some extensive work during the end of the regular season in case they need to rely on him more in the playoffs.
The same can be said of Gronkowski, as they would like to get him some work before the postseason, although, truth be told, the Patriots should have absolutely no troubles at all beating the Jaguars or Dolphins during the final two games of the season. And after watching what they did to the Texans on Monday night, I’m not sure they will have many problems with the 49ers on Sunday night either.