Gronkowski not a lock for opener
Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski said Thursday that he couldn’t guarantee he will play in Sunday night’s season opener against the Cardinals because of his hamstring injury.
“Yeah, it boils to a coaching decision, the medical team, and myself,” Gronkowski said. “We’ll all get together and collaborate and see where I’m at.”
Gronkowski suffered the injury when he pulled up while attempting to catch a pass from Tom Brady along the sideline during a joint practice with the Bears on Aug. 15. Gronkowski walked off under his own power and returned to practice on a limited basis Aug. 24 but didn’t play in the team’s final two preseason games.
The four-time Pro Bowl player was limited in practice this week and said he wasn’t 100 percent.
“I’ve just been week to week with a little hammy thing,” he said. “But I’m feeling good.”
The Patriots acquired Pro Bowl selection Martellus Bennett from the Bears in March to be Gronkowski’s primary backup. Luck ‘good’: Colts general manager Ryan Grigson confirmed to an Indianapolis radio station an ESPN.com report that three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Andrew Luck is feeling fine and will start Sunday against the Lions.
Luck missed nine games last season with a lacerated kidney, abdominal tear and broken ribs and was a limited participant in practice Thursday for the second straight day because of a shoulder injury.
Grigson insisted that it was no cause for alarm.
“He’s all good,” Grigson said. “I mean the guy’s thrown a zillion balls. ... I guess you could look for something that’s not there, but he’s going to be ready and we have a plan that we think is best for him and one he feels good about.” Steelers sign guard: The Steelers signed All-Pro guard David DeCastro to a six-year contract that runs through 2021.
ESPN reported that the deal is worth $58 million. DeCastro’s previous contract was due to expire at the end of the season.
The fourth-year pro out of Stanford started 16 games in each of the past two seasons, and was an All-Pro selection last year. Another takes stand: Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, a college teammate of 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick, took to a knee during the national anthem before Thursday night’s season opener against the Panthers in Denver.
Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem during the preseason, explaining it was to protest racial oppression and police brutalityMarshall had stood with his hand over his heart during the anthem before a preseason game Aug. 20. Extra points: San Francisco prosecutors charged tight end Bruce Miller with multiple counts of assault and battery, including assault with a deadly weapon, after he allegedly attacked a 70-year-old man and his son while intoxicated at a hotel Monday.
Prosecutors said the deadly weapon was a cane.
The 49ers released Miller on Monday.