Dan Hanzus of NFL.com writes that Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski will start the preseason on the physically unable to perform list, according to a tweet from NFL insider Ian Rapoport who spoke with a person informed of the decision.
It remains to be seen whether or not Gronkowski will start the regular season on the PUP list. Rapoport added in a tweet earlier today that he's been told the star tight end "could be ready" for Week 1.
WBZ-TV in Boston reports that Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez has not been ruled out as a suspect in the North Attleboro homicide probe. The report adds that Hernandez "is not cooperating with investigators at this point in the probe."
"State Police detectives were back at his home Wednesday morning," notes WBZ. "They knocked on the door and no one answered. After making a brief phone call, they left and would not talk to reporters, referring all questions to to the Bristol County District Attorney's office. The D.A. has not commented on the case."
Adam Schefter of ESPN.com believes that Tim Tebow will be the Patriots No. 3 quarterback and inactive for most games this season.
"I know there's this great curiosity about Tebow, but the truth is the two bigger and much more significant questions in New England are: How are the Patriots going to replace Wes Welker and how much will upcoming back surgery impact tight end Rob Gronkowski this season? Those two factors will have a much greater impact on what the Patriots' record will be this season," writes Schefter.
Mike Reiss and Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com write that Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount wasn't overly impressive during offseason workouts.
"It's clear that Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Leon Washington and Brandon Bolden (who was limited this offseason due to an injury) offer more athleticism than Blount, who also dropped some passes out of the backfield," writes Reiss. "He's more of a lumberer than a speed/power mix, and given the tempo the Patriots like to run within their offense, Blount may not become a primary ball-carrier. If he can be a dependable short-yardage back during training camp, he may find his niche on the roster."
Luke Hughes of NESN.com lists Ras-I Dowling, Adrian Wilson, Dane Fletcher, Kyle Arrington and Vince Wilfork as the top defensive performers of the Patriots offseason program.
"Dowling was the corner on the field for nearly all of the offseason workouts, including organized team activities and the two-day minicamp," writes Hughes on the third-year cornerback. "He stuck on receivers like glue, glided in and out of his breaks like a galloping gazelle and contested enough of Tom Brady's passes you might have thought Brady was Mark Sanchez — but not really."