FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — No more end-zone spikes for a while from Rob Gronkowski.
A person familiar with the process said Monday the New England Patriots tight end expects to be sidelined for four to six weeks after having surgery for a broken left forearm. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick gave no update on the high-scoring tight end, who appeared to be hurt while blocking on an extra point late in the Patriots’ 59-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
The Patriots gave no estimate of how long Gronkowski, who hasn’t missed a game in his three NFL seasons, might be sidelined. But they have to make a quick adjustment with only three days to prepare for Thursday night’s game at the New York Jets.
Gronkowski caught seven passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns against the Colts, becoming the first tight end in NFL history with at least 10 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. He has 53 catches for 748 yards this season.
After his first touchdown on a 4-yard pass midway through the first quarter Sunday, he spiked the ball, causing an official to throw his hands in front of his body for protection.
REED GETS ONE-GAME BAN: Baltimore safety Ed Reed was suspended for one game by the NFL for repeated hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players. The 11-year veteran will miss Sunday’s game against San Diego.
Reed, from Destrehan, was suspended for three violations of the player safety rules in the past three seasons. The latest came in Sunday night’s 13-10 victory over Pittsburgh when he was penalized for unnecessary roughness in the third quarter for a hit to the head of receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
Reed also was penalized Sept. 23 against the Patriots for unnecessary roughness and fined $21,000 for striking Deion Branch when the receiver was defenseless. Before that, Reed hit Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Dec. 19, 2010, and was fined $10,000.
HENNE GETS THE NOD: Chad Henne will be Jacksonville’s starting quarterback Sunday against Tennessee.
Coach Mike Mularkey made the announcement Monday, a day after Henne threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns in a 43-37 overtime loss at Houston. Blaine Gabbert injured his right forearm early in the game.
PITTSBURGH LOSES ANOTHER QB: Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich injured his ribs in Sunday’s loss to Baltimore and will not start next week against the Cleveland Browns.
A person familiar with the injury said Leftwich was hurt during the first quarter of the 13-10 loss to the Ravens. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not officially commented on Leftwich’s status.
The Steelers are already without starter Ben Roethlisberger, who is out indefinitely with shoulder and rib injuries.
The Steelers likely will turn to 37-year-old Charlie Batch against the Browns. Batch is 5-2 while as a substitute starter in the past decade.
REID WON’T RESIGN: Andy Reid isn’t quitting his job.
“I think that’d be a cop-out,” the Philadelphia coach said. “That’s not how I see things. That’s not the way I’m wired.”
The Eagles have dropped six in a row. A 31-6 whipping by the Washington Redskins on Sunday wasn’t as close as the 25-point difference indicated.
“Obviously that’s not good enough,” Reid said. “I take full responsibility for that. ... There are no excuses for it.”
McGAHEE OUT FOR SEASON: Denver running back Willis McGahee tore the medial colateral ligament in his right knee and is expected to miss the rest of the regular season.
An MRI showed a “nonsurgical” tear, coach John Fox said. There was no immediate plan to put the 10-year veteran on injured reserve. McGahee has rushed for 731 yards this year.
Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball are expected to share McGahee’s starting spot.
RIVERA FEELS SAFE FOR NOW: Based on recent conversations with team owner Jerry Richardson, Ron Rivera said he doesn’t know whether he’ll remain Carolina’s coach beyond this season.
“I know that nothing is going to happen until after the season,” he said.
Rivera’s seat got a little hotter after the Panthers surrendered another fourth quarter lead Sunday and lost 27-21 to Tampa Bay in overtime. The loss dropped Rivera to 8-18 in his two seasons.
MERIWEATHER OUT FOR YEAR: Washington safety Brandon Meriweather is out for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee, a day after his impressive season debut in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Meriweather went down without contact in the third quarter of Sunday’s 31-6 victory. He had one interception, broke up two passes and had seven tackles despite playing a little more than half of the game.