Patriots gridiron news: Chris Hogan aiming for a Week 14 return

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 01: Chris Hogan
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 01: Chris Hogan /

With Rob Gronkowski serving a one-game suspension, the New England Patriots may get another weapon back to help fill the void.

Chris Hogan, remember him?  The tough wide receiver is looking to make a return to the New England Patriots roster Monday night when the team takes on the AFC East rival Miami Dolphins.

Sidelined since Week 8 due to a shoulder injury, Hogan practiced on Wednesday and feels like he is ready to get back into the grind.

"“(I feel) good, day by day and trying to prepare myself to play in the game,” Hogan said, via The Boston Herald."

Of course, Hogan’s availability on Monday night will be up to the team.  But, due to the suspension of Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots may have no choice but to stick Hogan in there.  Before his injury, Hogan was on pace to a near 1,000-yard receiving season.  Not only would he give Tom Brady another target in the offense, he would help fill the void in the red zone.

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

Hogan was tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns with five and was a reliable option for Brady before he went down.

Although Chris Hogan is excited about his progress, he is not guaranteeing that he will suit up against the Dolphins.

"“Today was like the first day of school for me getting back out there on the field,” Hogan told reporters.  “I was excited to be out there.  The competitor in you want to be out there no matter what.”"

Without Gronkowski and if Hogan is not ready to go by Monday, the New England Patriots will lean on wide receivers Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola and Phillip Dorsett.  They will also look for contributions out of tight ends Dwayne Allen and rookie Jacob Hollister. 

Jonathan Freeny returns

The New England Patriots have added some depth at the linebacker position.

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The team announced on Wednesday that they have signed old friend Jonathan Freeny.  The veteran linebacker will take the open roster spot left available due to the one-game suspension of tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Waived in September following a two-year stint with the team, Freeny is happy to be back in the friendly confines of Foxboro.

"“It feels good to be back, Freeny said, via the Providence Journal.  “It’s a great team and I just plan to come in here and take it day by day, just try to learn as much as I possibly can and get back in the groove of things.  It feels great to see all the guys.”"

Freeny’s signing adds extra insurance to the linebacker group.  With Kyle Van Noy and Trevor Reilly still nursing injuries, the veteran gives the Patriots at least another option in a group consisting of Van Noy, Reilly, David Harris, Elandon Roberts, Marquis Flowers and Nicholas Grigsby.

New England Patriots reclaim the No. 1 spot

 It took a while, but the New England Patriots are once again back on top of ESPN’s power rankings.

Next: New England Patriots: Renewed defense has helped win 8 straight

With an eight-game winning streak and a much improved defense, the defending Super Bowl champs have jumped ahead of the upstart Philadelphia Eagles for the No. 1 spot.  The Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers round out Week 14’s top 5.