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News Blitz 12/8: Pats enjoy Fat Friday

NFL Fridays are generally a time for teams and players to put the finishing touches on that particular week's game plan and usually they feature a more laid-back mindset among those involved.

ESPN.com says many Patriots players especially look forward to Fridays for another reason: they get to eat. Some in Foxborough refer to them as Fat Fridays.

Rob Gronkowski remains at the forefront of the news but ESPN.com says his fellow players believe he's a great teammate who cares about doing the right thing. This in the aftermath of Buffalo's Tre'Davious White calling him a dirty player.

Tom Brady once again was absent from Patriots practice on Thursday. Same was true for Kyle Van Noy. The Boston Herald says the run defense needs to improve. The notebook leads with Dwayne Allen looking to fill Gronk's huge shoes. Running backs Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead are playing their way toward lucrative free agent contracts according to the Herald. NBC Sports Boston believes Chris Hogan's possible return could mitigate Gronk's absence.

The Providence Journal says the Patriots were happy to get Eric Rowe back in the lineup. The Patriot Ledger says Shaq Mason brings a level of athleticism to the offensive line.

MassLive.com looks at which potential coaching openings would make sense for coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia.

In Miami, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh believes it's his job to make Brady frustrated with his linemen and coaches.

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