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News Blitz 8/16: Gronkowski, Garoppolo and much more!

Besides quarterback Tom Brady, there is no player who's status is monitored more in New England than tight end Rob Gronkowski.

The All-Pro is the most important non-quarterback in New England, maybe in all of football.

So when big No. 87 leaves practice early, as he did on Monday during joint sessions with the Bears, it sends ripples throughout Patriots Nation.

The Boston Globe says that Gronkowski's departure continues a "disturbing trend of Patriots leaving practice early because of injuries." The Globe takes a close look at where Jimmy Garoppolo is in his development this summer and says the third-year passer is "wise beyond his years." The Globe's practice report has the details of the first of three joint workouts with the Bears.

The Boston Herald says the Bears started a pair of fight with the Patriots in practice on Monday, including one between Malcolm Butler and Alshon Jeffery that turned into an rather large brawl. The Herald writes that the Gronkowski injury, even if it's just a scare, is "not what we needed." The Herald also has Garoppolo talking about not getting too high or low as things unfold on the field as a quarterback.

The Herald has rookie Joe Thuney attempting to make fast work of winning a starting job on the Patriots offensive line, as he's done with so many challenges in his life.

The Providence Journal passes along Garoppolo's comments from his media session after practice on Monday. The ProJo also looks at Patriots defensive end Chris Long and his brother, Bears offensive lineman Kyle, working out on the same practice field this week.

ESPNBoston.com has Bears coach John Fox saying there is no "ill will" for outspoken tight end Martellus Bennett, who was traded from Chicago to New England this offseason and part of his own situation with his former mates on Monday. ESPNBoston.com passes along Kyle Long saying he was looking out for his brother's "dropkick" in the practice field fight on Monday.

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ESPNBoston.com reports that a source says the injury that caused Gronkowksi to leave practice is "minor."

Former Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow would like to get a chance to pursue a Major League Baseball career, but Red Sox batting coach Chili Davis tells WEEI.com that, "I wouldn't want to take on that project."

CSNNE.com offers a Patriots roster projection, but be warned that it's a slideshow and therefore we can't tell you who did or didn't make the cut. CSNNE.com notes a couple Patriots roster moves from Monday with Nate Ebner officially being activated to the 90-man roster and safety Brock Vereen retiring from football.

CSNNE.com has Bill Belichick saying the Patriots defensive tackle spot is as deep as he can remember in New England, at least the third position the coach has made a similar comment about this summer.

NFL.com notes the Gronkowski injury and says the hope is that it's just a scare. NFL.com gives Butler and Jeffery joint credit for starting the fight at joint practice. The site also grades rookie cornerback Cyrus Jones as a B for his preseason debut against the Saints. The NFL is wrapped up in yet another "we said, she said," this time with potential Super Bowl halftime singer Adele.

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