As game time gets closer, the big stories of playoff week in New England continue to swirl through the news cycle on the eve of the Divisional Playoff showdown with the Chiefs.
Bill Belichick's morning press conference on Thursday and Chandler Jones' first meeting of the week with the media later in the day added new life to the story of the "situation" surrounding the Pro Bowl defensive end's "medical emergency" last Sunday morning.
Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy says Belichick's press conference pitched another shutout with the media. The Globe has Jones saying he "made a pretty stupid mistake." The paper passes along reports from the Town of Foxborough that Jones was "looking for help and assistance" when he arrived at the police station last weekend.
Jones isn't the only big story this week in Foxborough, though. The Globe writes that Rob Gronkowski missed his second practice of the week on Thursday as the team added a back issue to the previously-listed knee injury for the All-Pro tight end. Even with everything else going on, the Globe says the Patriots playoff fate may rest with the offensive line.
From a Kansas City perspective, the Globe looks at Andy Reid's restoration project with the Chiefs. The Globe Chiefs notebook has the health situation surrounding Jeremy Maclin. Whether the Patriots are in the game or not, CBS will be ready for a big broadcast of Super Bowl 50.
The Boston Herald continues to cover the way the Jones situation was handled in Foxborough. Herald columnist Ron Borges says Jones is a low priority for the Patriots this week. The Herald notes that Jones apologized to fans as part of his meeting with the media in front of his Gillette Stadium locker on Thursday. The Herald Patriots notebook adds Gronkowski's back issue to the team's health concerns. The paper also breaks down which team has the edge in various aspects of Saturday's must-win game.
The Providence Journal declares that dealing with a Gronkowksi back injury is not the way the Patriots wanted to end their playoff preparation week. The ProJo notes that the team moved inside Gillette Stadium for the final practice of the week.
ESPNBoston.com says Devin McCourty and the Patriots are trying to take the week's distraction in stride. The site breaks down how the Chiefs defense in the middle of the field could be key to the outcome on Saturday.
It was ESPN that broke news that Gronkowski had received treatment at a local hospital, "which included an injection" in his injured right knee.
WEEI.com says so many Patriots have much to prove Saturday against the Chiefs. WEEI.com has ESPN analyst and former New England linebacker Tedy Bruschi calling the Jones situation "an embarrassment" and expecting the Pro Bowl defensive end to be disciplined in some way against the Chiefs. In other injury news, WEEI.com observes that 10 Patriots were limited in practice on Thursday, while the site also a scout's take on the Divisional Playoff matchup in New England.
CSNNE.com says a lot of what's been going on lately in New England is not the Patriot Way. The site says the back injury for Gronkowski is double injury trouble for the tight end.
NFL.com breaks down how much health issues are a concern throughout Divisional Weekend. At least one writer on the site picks the Patriots to take care of business against Kansas City.
CBS Boston says health remains the biggest issue for the Patriots against the Chiefs.
The Washington Post writes that it looks like New England is running in reverse heading into a battle with the rolling Chiefs.
The Kansas City Star enjoyed five of Belichick's quotes from his final press conference of the week. The paper notes that both teams' tight ends wear No. 87 and caught 72 passes this season, but they never get to actually battle against each other on the field. Former offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride helped teams to an 11-7 record against Belichick-coached opponents and breaks down the big game this week for the Star. The *Star *also says this season shows why Brady may indeed be the best quarterback ever.