After leaving the AFC Championship Game with a head injury, star tight end Rob Gronkowski has appeared on the first pre-Super Bowl injury report with a concussion.
Gronkowski, who had 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns this season, left Sunday’s game after a head-to-head hit from Jaguars safety Barry Church. After the game, sources said that the Patriots were “optimistic” that he would be able to play against the Eagles on Feb. 4.
Before returning to the practice field, Gronkowski must pass the NFL’s five-stage concussion protocol. Coach Bill Belichick was quiet, as always, when asked about the injury.
“Whatever his situation is, whatever his status is, we’ll put it on the injury report,” Belichick said. “We’ll put it right on the injury report and that’s what we’re going to do, just like everybody else does.”
If Gronkowski does not play Feb. 4, it will be the second year in a row that he misses the Super Bowl. He was also limited in Super Bowl XLVI when New England lost to the New York Giants.
Gronkowski is yet to publicly comment on the injury.
Patriots to sport their away whites
After wearing white in their last two Super Bowl appearances, the Patriots will again wear their away uniforms in Super Bowl LII against the Eagles.
13 of the last 14 Super Bowl winners wore white uniforms, with the 2011 Packers being the sole exception to the rule. The Patriots are 3-1 in Super Bowls when wearing white, with their only loss coming to the Packers in 1997.
When the Patriots beat the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, they wore their white jerseys.
Danny Amendola riding the high
As always, the Patriots had an unsung hero lead the charge in a major playoff win. In this case, it was slot receiver Danny Amendola.
“I knew where to get to, and Tom had a laser,” Amendola said, on the third-and-18 prayer that drove the Patriots towards a touchdown in the fourth quarter. “It was perfect.”
Amendola caught both of quarterback Tom Brady’s fourth-quarter touchdowns, as he racked up seven catches and 84 yards. Outside of his success at his position, he also had a major 20-yard punt return to put the Patriots at the Jaguars’ 30-yard line on the game-winning drive, as well as a 20 yard, cross-field pass to Dion Lewis (that looked great before Lewis’ fumble).
“Danny’s such a good football player,” Belichick said Sunday night. “When you look up ‘good football player’ in the dictionary, his picture is right there beside it.”