Patriots gridiron news: Dwayne Allen mentally equipped to fill in for Gronk


With Rob Gronkowski serving a one-game suspension, New England Patriots tight end Dwayne Allen is preparing to fill some of the void left by the dominant play catcher.   

There won’t be a lot of pressure on tight end Dwayne Allen when the New England Patriots take on the Miami Dolphins on Monday night.  But, entering the game as the team’s No. 1 tight end with Rob Gronkowski serving a one-game suspension, Allen will have to give the team something.

While most fans cringe at any expectations thrown Allen’s way, he is actually better prepared to take on the role at this point in the season than he was earlier in the season.  In fact, the last time the team played without Gronkowski – a Thursday night victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Allen did not see a single target.

Due to his early season struggles, the New England Patriots put together a game plan that didn’t rely on production from the tight end position.  On Monday night, the team could do the same.  But, against a team that struggles covering tight ends, why not give Allen the opportunity to produce?

DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 12: Tight end Dwayne Allen
DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 12: Tight end Dwayne Allen /

With five catches for 40 yards and a touchdown over the last four games, Dwayne Allen knows Rob Gronkowski’s shoes are hard to fill, but is better prepared to contribute this time around.

"“(I’m) better equipped physically, mentally,” Allen said, via NESN.  “I have a better grasp of the offense now.  But at the end of the day, it comes down to execution.Just understanding and coming to (grips) with the different ways that I can impact the game.  It’s not always in the start column, but there are certain things that I can do within our game plan, within the things that we do well, to make sure that the team is successful.”"

Allen has been very productive blocking in the running game.  With a possibility that the Patriots may try to run the ball, the veteran tight end may see his greatest contributions Monday night coming in that phase of the game.  Don’t be surprised, however, if Brady connects with Allen on some passing plays during the game.

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Tom Brady issues apology to Josh McDaniels

There is nothing but love between Tom Brady and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Therefore, don’t look too much into a sideline shouting match between the two during the team’s 23-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills last week.

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As both parties have brushed it off, Brady issued a formal apology to McDaniels on Saturday.

"“One thing I do want to say first, I want to apologize to (offensive coordinator) Josh (McDaniels) for last week in Buffalo,” Brady said, via  “I know our coaches work really hard.  They’re responsible for putting us in a great position to succeed, so I just want to get that off my chest.”"

Injury report: Kyle Van Noy, Marcus Cannon ruled out Monday night

The New England Patriots will be without one of their key offensive and defensive Monday night when they take on the Dolphins.

According to a report by WEEI, the team has ruled out linebacker Kyle Van Noy and right tackle Marcus Cannon.  Both players were limited at practice all week.

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While Van Noy and Cannon are the only players to be ruled out, the Patriots have a few players whose status remains up in the air.  Listed as questionable are Marquis Flowers, Trey Flowers, Stephon Gilmore, Mike Gillislee, Chris Hogan, Dion Lewis, Brandon King, Eric Rowe, Matthew Slater, LaAdrian Waddle and Deatrich Wise.