NFL News: Player News and Updates for 1/8/14
NFL Updates: Gronkowski, Palmer, Complete Playoffs Schedule and More
January 8, 2014
We’ve reached the middle of the week, which means there are just a couple more days left until the NFL playoffs pick back up. While we’re waiting, let’s check in on some of the noteworthy players and developing storylines out there around the league. Here’s the latest.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots: We’ve got a minor update on Gronkowski this morning. Tomorrow’s a big day for him--he’ll undergo surgery to repair his torn ACL and MCL in his knee. Once he’s back at home, he’ll be rehabbing for the remainder of the off-season.
Grokowski played in just seven games this season after returning in Week 7 following an arm injury. He hurt his knee in Week 13. We’ll keep an eye on how he’s progressing this off-season; Hopefully for the Patriots, he’ll be able to start the 2014 campaign on time.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals: Even with the late surge, the Cardinals weren’t able to eke into the postseason this year. That said, there’s reason for fans to be optimistic heading into next season. Take Palmer for example; He got much better as the year progressed.
During the first seven games, he threw eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions. As time went on and he got a feel for Bruce Arians’ system, however, things improved. Over the final nine games, he managed 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. It’s also worth noting that four of those came in one game (Dec. 22 against the Seahawks).
Heading into 2014, the Cardinals have to be one of the favorites to compete for a playoff spot--even though they play in a very tough division. With game-breaking weapons like Andre Ellington and Larry Fitzgerald at his disposal, Palmers’ numbers should only improve.
Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts: With all the talk centered around Colts QB Andrew Luck, it’s been easy to downplay Brown’s effect on the team’s success. He’s been a pivotal cog in Indy’s offensive plans since he joined the starting lineup late in the season, amassing 276 total yards and four touchdowns on 56 touches over the last five games of the regular season. (Not to mention his two touchdowns in the Colts’ shocking comeback win over KC last week.)
Another key stat on Brown is that he’s doing a lot of damage after the initial contact. He averages a league-leading 3.3 yards per carry after contact, which has been key in helping the offense to sustain drives.
Brown will need to keep his good run going on Saturday against New England. The Colts will likely have to put up a lot of points (not to mention avoid falling behind early) with Tom Brady on the other sideline.
NFL Playoffs Schedule: It’s playoff time, and the anticipation is running high as we cruise through each week. Here’s a look at the scores and complete schedule of games for each round of the playoffs, along with the start times and TV networks carrying each matchup.
Saturday, January 4, 2014:
4:35 PM ET:
Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts (NBC)
FINAL SCORE: Colts 45, Chiefs 44
8:10 PM ET:
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (NBC)
FINAL SCORE: Saints 26, Eagles 24
Sunday, January 5, 2014:
1:05 PM ET:
San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)
FINAL SCORE: Chargers 27, Bengals 10
4:40 PM ET:
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (FOX)
FINAL SCORE: 49ers 23, Packers 20
Saturday, January 11, 2014:
4:35 PM ET:
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (FOX)
8:15 PM ET:
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (CBS)
Sunday, January 12, 2014:
1:05 PM ET:
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (FOX)
4:40 PM ET:
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (CBS)
Other Notable Dates:
AFC Championship: January 19, 2014 (CBS)
NFC Championship: January 19, 2014 (FOX)
Super Bowl XLVIII: February 2, 2014 (FOX)
For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.