Patriots gridiron news: Rob Gronkowski says team’s focus is more points

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 29: Rob Gronkowski
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 29: Rob Gronkowski /

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is looking forward to the bye week, but also emphasizes the team’s need to get better scoring point.

The New England Patriots are back down to business just before entering the Week 9 bye.  While the team is looking forward to some rest, tight end Rob Gronkowski stressed the team’s need to improve in the red area when on offense.

During his weekly press conference, Gronkowski talked about how the offense has to get better putting up touchdowns instead of settling for field goals.

"“….putting more points on the board,” Gronk said.  “Red area – we’ve been getting stopped quite a bit, just kicking field goals.  We had six field goal attempts last game, so I would say we’ve got to improve in that area for sure.  Finishing the drive and putting points up on the board.”More from Chowder and Champions3 Midseason Chaim Bloom Decisions That Have Killed the 2023 Red Sox10 Patriots Who Will Be Cut by Tuesday’s Roster DeadlineMLB Screws Red Sox Fans With Broadcast for Mookie Betts Return3 Most Underpaid Celtics Heading Into the 2023 SeasonRed Sox Continue Rollercoaster Season With Massive Win"

Rob Gronkowski and the Patriots offense have had no problem moving the ball.  Once inside the red area is where things get difficult.  That’s where the team really has missed the services of Julian Edelman.  His ability to get open quick in tight spaces made life easier for Tom Brady.

Entering the bye week, the team must work on how to get other players open.  Gronk, along with Brandin Cooks, James White, a healthy Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola definitely have the skill level to win one-on-one matchups.

Eric Rowe returns to practice

The new England Patriots received some good news on the injury front on Wednesday.  According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, cornerback Eric Rowe returned to the practice for the first time since he injured his groin in a Week 4 game against the Saints.

FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 22: Eric Rowe /

With both Rowe and Stephon Gilmore out the last few weeks, the Patriots have had to depend on Jonathan Jones and Johnson Bademosi to fill in in their absence.  Both players did a decent job as the overall defense saw an improvement during that span.

Overall injury report

While Rowe did return to practice, notable players absent at Wednesday’s practice was Chris Hogan (shoulder), Malcolm Brown (ankle), Marcus Cannon (ankle), and kicker Stephon Gostkowski.

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Hogan suffered his shoulder injury in the Week 8 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.  While an MRI revealed he won’t need surgery, Hogan could miss some time due to the injury.  The Patriots are entering a bye week in Week 9, which could give him and others some time to heal.