FOXBORO, Mass. — Some leftover notes and nuggets from Friday’s New England Patriots media availability at Gillette Stadium:
— There were no changes to the Patriots’ injury report.
Running back Sony Michel (knee), cornerback Eric Rowe (groin) and offensive lineman Brian Schwenke (foot) all missed practice for the second straight day, and the same nine players were limited, including tight end Rob Gronkowski (ankle/back) and linebacker Dont’a Hightower (knee).
Michel, Rowe and Schwenke are unlikely to play Monday night against the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots will hold their final practice of the week Saturday before departing for Orchard Park, N.Y.
— Despite his limitations in practice, Gronkowski, who missed last Sunday’s win over the Chicago Bears, appears on track to return to game action this week.
That’s bad news for the Bills, whom Gronkowski has treated as his personal punching bag throughout his NFL career.
Since he entered the league in 2010, Gronkowski has played 13 games against the Bills. He’s caught 66 passes for 1,074 yards and 12 touchdowns in those games, and the Patriots have won 11 of them.
2010 at Buffalo (Patriots win 38-30): three catches (three targets), 43 yards, one touchdown
2010 at home (Patriots win 34-3): four catches (seven targets), 54 yards, two touchdowns
2011 at Buffalo (Bills win 34-31): seven catches (nine targets), 109 yards, two touchdowns
2011 at home (Patriots win 49-21): eight catches (10 targets), 108 yards, two touchdowns
2012 at Buffalo (Patriots win 52-28): five catches (11 targets), 104 yards, one touchdown
2012 at home (Patriots win 37-31): three catches (four targets) 31 yards, one touchdown
2014 at Buffalo (Patriots win 37-22): seven catches (nine targets), 94 yards
2015 at Buffalo (Patriots win 40-32): seven catches (13 targets), 113 yards, one touchdown
2015 at home (Patriots win 20-13): two catches (seven targets), 37 yards
2016 at home (Bills win 16-0): one catch (two targets), 11 yards*
2016 at Buffalo (Patriots win 41-25): five catches (seven targets), 109 yards, one touchdown
2017 at Buffalo (Patriots win 23-3): nine catches (11 targets), 147 yards
2017 at home (Patriots win 37-16): five catches (seven targets), 67 yards, one touchdown
* with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback
Gronkowski, who grew up in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst, N.Y., remains motivated by the Bills’ decision to not select him with the 41st overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, as he explained after the teams’ second meeting last season.
“It’s cool when your hometown team passed on you twice in that draft,” said Gronkowski, whom the Patriots promptly nabbed at No. 42. “You kind of remember it still. No lie, I remember it every single time I play them.”
In seven career games at Buffalo’s New Era Field, Gronkowski has 44 catches for 730 yards and seven touchdowns.
Bills coach Sean McDermott earlier this week said he fully expects Gronkowski to play on Monday.
— Patriots defensive backs Devin and Jason McCourty were recognized Friday as the NFL’s Community MVPs for Week 7.
The twin brothers held a Tackle Sickle Cell Casino Night on Monday that attracted 500 guests and raised more than $200,000 for Boston Medical Center and Next Step, “a non-profit that offers support for young people with life-threatening illnesses,” according to a news release.
“Sickle cell disease is a sickness that has caused a lot of pain in our family, specifically for our Aunt Winifred,” Jason McCourty said in a statement. “So to be able to bring awareness for others and raise money to help those impacted by this terrible disease has been humbling. My mom is someone who has always taught us to give back and has been a huge inspiration for Devin and myself when it comes to community service. I believe God has blessed me in so many aspects in my life that it’s only right to spread that blessing.”
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images