**Field Yates** of ESPNBoston.com takes a look at the Patriots' players who are dealing with injury issues. Of note, Brandon Spikes is said to be a safe bet to be on the field for training camp. However, after coming off knee surgery earlier this offseason, "the team may choose to curtail his workload as a precautionary measure," writes Yates.
Field Yates also writes that Patriots OLB Rob Ninkovich has been working with the defensive line during each of the OTAs open to the media. "It could mean a lot of things, including that the team feels it has a surplus of talent at linebacker with Ninkovich in the fold, so they may opt to move him to the defensive line to keep his effectiveness on the field," explains Yates. The move could also be a sign that the Patriots are planning to use more four-man fronts in 2012. Ninkovich enters the season coming off of a 75-tackle, 6.5 sack campaign in 2011.
**Jeff Howe** of The Boston Herald reports that free-agent RB Kevin Faulk has confirmed that he will retire if he isn't re-signed by the Patriots. "I hope (the Patriots re-sign me). I'm still praying, hoping," Faulk said. "If it doesn't happen, hey, I had a long run. God has blessed me with a long career as a running back, as a football player in general. But if it doesn't happen, hey, I'm moving on."
**Jeff Howe** also gives a report on Rob Gronkowski's surgically repaired ankle. The Patriots' record-setting tight end said he is "feeling better every single week," although he has yet to step foot on the practice field during OTAs. "The tight end hasn't practiced in either of the two organized team activities that have been open to the media, but he has been able to work on his conditioning to the side of the field. He's kicked the limp, but the Patriots haven't overexerted him to this point in the offseason," writes Howe.