Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss his return trip to New England because of a rib injury.

Gronkowski was downgraded to out by the team and did not travel with the Super Bowl champions for Sunday night’s anticipated matchup with the Patriots. Gronkowski was listed as doubtful on Friday.

It’s the first game Gronkowski will miss since he came out of retirement to play alongside Tom Brady with the Buccaneers.

Gronkowski had 45 receptions for 623 yards and seven touchdowns in his first season with Tampa Bay, and then caught four more TD passes from Brady during the team’s 2-1 start this year.

Gronkowski, 32, was selected by New England in the second round of the 2010 draft and spent his first nine seasons with the Patriots, developing into one of the NFL’s best tight ends. Forming a lasting connection with Brady, Gronkowski had 521 catches for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns with New England.

COLTS: Indianapolis placed three-time All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson on injured reserve Saturday, a move that will keep him out at least three weeks.

Nelson had started all 54 games since Indy drafted him with the sixth-overall selection in 2018. He sprained his right ankle in last Sunday’s loss at Tennessee.

Coach Frank Reich said Friday that Nelson and right tackle Braden Smith would both miss Sunday’s game at Miami.

It will be Indy’s fourth straight game with at least one of its five projected starting offensive linemen out of action because of injuries. Chris Reed is expected to start in place of Nelson.

Indy also activated backup quarterback Brett Hundley and safety Ibraheim Campbell from the practice squad.

PACKERS: Green Bay wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling has gone on injured reserve after hurting his ankle in a victory at San Francisco.

The Packers announced they had placed Valdes-Scantling on injured reserve and had elevated wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown from the practice squad to the active roster for Sunday’s game with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a COVID-19 replacement.

BEARS: Chicago says rookie quarterback Justin Fields will start against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

The team announced Saturday that Fields will make his second straight start while listing Andy Dalton as doubtful. Coach Matt Nagy had said the Bears would wait until game time to announce who would be behind center.

Both quarterbacks are dealing with injuries, but Fields was able to go through full practices the entire week while Dalton was limited every day. Dalton is recovering from a bone bruise to his left knee while Fields wore a brace on his injured right hand all week in practice.

Fields injured his right thumb during last weekend’s 26-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Dalton got hurt right before halftime in Week 2 against Cincinnati.


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