The New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divsional Playoffs at Gillette Stadium on Saturday. The No. 2 seeded Patriots are hoping to have a slew of banged-up impact players back in time to face a Chiefs team that’s won 11 straight games. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola along with defensive end Chandler Jones were all listed questionable on the team’s injury report. In total, 12 Patriots were listed questionable and 17 appeared on the injury report.
Perhaps the most important one of those injuries is to Gronkowski, who is said to be battling both knee and back injuries. Gronkowski received a knee injection on Thursday and did not practice along with being listed as questionable to play. Those close to the team expect Gronkowski to play and Kansas City is preparing for a healthy Patriots tight end. It is possible he could be less than 100 percent and used as a decoy in some situations. Gronkowski compiled 72 receptions for 1,176 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.
After breaking his foot in Week 10 against the Giants, Edelman missed the remainder of the regular season but returns for the divisional round. Edelman, perhaps Tom Brady’s go-to receiver, is expected to help kick-start a Patriots offense that sputtered at times down the stretch and even more so if Gronkowski is not at his best. In nine games this season, Edelman caught 62 balls for 692 yards and seven touchdowns.
Amendola is listed as questionable with a knee injury and was limited in practice on Thursday. Even still, he’s expected to be the third option behind Gronkowski and Edelman. Amendola had stepped into Edelman’s role as he recovered from injury but now could see a favorable matchup with weapons being reintroduced into the New England offense. Amendola totaled 65 catches for 648 yards and three scores this season.
Jones oddly found himself seeking assistance at a local police station after ingesting synthetic marijuana last week. He had an adverse reaction but did not do anything illegal and was treated by a local fire department in what was deemed a medical issue rather than a police issue.
By all accounts, Jones will play Sunday. He called the event a “stupid mistake” upon his return to practice and said his focus is on the Chiefs. Jones leads New England with 12.5 sacks this season.