Gronk: I use head injuries as an ‘excuse when I do something crazy’

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New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has had his fair share of injuries during his playing career, including one concussion that he publicly acknowledges.

With head injuries becoming more of a focus for the NFL and current and former players, as well as fans, Gronkowski explained why he’s not yet thinking about the long-term impact of hits to the head.

“I really don’t think about it that much right now at this stage of my life,” he said. “But I do use it as a great excuse whenever I do something wrong or say something wrong or do something crazy. I say, ‘It’s because I play football and I get hit in the head a lot.’ So if someone tries to argue with that, then I don’t know. I don’t know how they can argue with it. I use the positive out of it, and I use it as an excuse when I do something crazy. It’s because I play football, and I couldn’t control it.”

For more context about what “crazy” Gronk might look like, here’s a compilation of some of his wildest moments.

 

Sunday Night Football: Raiders road favorites vs. Redskins

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Perhaps fittingly for a franchise headed for a new home, the Oakland Raiders and quarterback Derek Carr have been an outstanding road team recently.

While West Coast teams playing three time zones from home can make bettors uneasy, the Raiders are listed as three-point road favorites against the host Washington Redskins with a 54.5 total in their Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Raiders are 10-3 against the spread in their 13 most recent road games. They are also 3-0 straight-up and ATS in their last three games as a favorite on the road. Washington, led by Kirk Cousins, has been a poor prime-time performer lately, going 3-11 SU and ATS in their last 14 games at night.

The Raiders, who are 2-0 SU and ATS for the first time in 15 seasons, expect to have a full contingent of offensive threats complementing Carr. Running back Marshawn Lynch has a good matchup against a Washington defense that has allowed the 11th-most rushing yards in the NFL since the start of last season.

Assuming Washington shutdown CB Josh Norman (shoulder) plays, it should be a great matchup in the passing phase with the Raiders’ Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree going against Norman and CB Bashuad Breeland.

Oakland’s offensive line has allowed only two sacks through two weeks and it looks like TE Jared Cook is good to go after getting in a full practice on Friday.

With the Redskins, who are 1-1 SU and ATS, there are some concerns with the offense, which was a top-5 unit in 2016. Cousins and his receivers, including newcomer Terrelle Pryor, have yet to connect on a deep ball – something Oakland doesn’t defense particularly well. Bettors should keep on eye on whether TE Jordan Reed (ribs/sternum), who is key in the short- and intermediate-range game, suits up. Even if he’s good to go, Reed might play limited snaps.

Washington’s offensive line will have to contain Oakland OLB Khalil Mack, one of the game’s best pass rushers. However, it has been run-blocking very well and that should continue whether Rob Kelley (ribs), Samaje Perrine or Chris Thompson is in the backfield.

The total has gone over in 18 of the Raiders’ last 23 games after a win. The total has gone under in 10 of the Redskins’ last 11 games when hosting a West Coast team.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Best fantasy football waiver wire pick-ups for Week 3

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By Rotoworld.com

Welcome to the 3rd edition of Waiver Wired for the 2017 season. Luckily we did not see the big injuries of last week, but the sheer volume of departures made it almost as painful. Five of the top six tight ends in average ADP will enter the week at least questionable, and Greg Olsen is set to miss at least six weeks because of a broken foot. At receiver, both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are questionable for Week 3 while Corey Coleman is set to miss at least a month and a half with another broken hand. Running back did not escape the carnage, either, with Rob Kelley and Jordan Howard questionable with a rib and shoulder injury respectively, while Sam Bradford sat out Week 2 and may have to miss more time with a knee injury, although the Vikings are hopeful he will be good to go this week. All of that means the competition on the wire and in FAAB bidding might be a bit more competitive this week, especially at tight end.

As a reminder, the drop list consists of players who are no longer must-owns, recommended adds are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list consists of players who are worthy of a roster spot if possible, and deep cuts are players owned in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

The Drop List
QB: Eli Manning
RB:
Bilal Powell, LeGarrette Blount
WR:
Corey Coleman, Mike Wallace
TE:
Greg Olsen

Manning is not getting any help from his offensive line or pass catchers, but he also deserves blame for the Giants’ slow start. Unfortunately for Manning, things do not get any easier, with the Eagles, Bucs, Chargers, Broncos, and Seahawks next up on the schedule before the bye. Unless something changes, he will not be usable in any of those matchups. The running back cuts are risky, but it does not look like either of these guys is going to be worthy of a start in the near future. Powell is in what now looks like a three-way timeshare for the worst offense in the league while Blount played behind Wendell Smallwood in Week 2. Perhaps the Jets come to their senses or Blount starts routinely falling into the end zone, but neither is a must-hold if something enticing is sitting out on the wire. Coleman would have been Kenny Britt before the injury, but Britt has to be held to see if he can do anything with the young receiver out – the safe bet is on no. Teams with an open IR spot should hold onto Coleman, but he was at best a WR3 when healthy and could miss multiple months. Olsen is a tougher case because he has been a high-end option at a thin and getting thinner position, but he struggled down the stretch last year, did not open this season strong, and is now going to miss at least six weeks.

Quarterbacks
Carson Palmer owned in 60 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 QB if available
1. Jay Cutler
2. Joe Flacco

Running Backs
Buck Allen owned in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 RB if available
1. Chris Carson
2. Darren Sproles
3. Chris Johnson
4. Chris Thompson
5. Samaje Perine
6. Wendell Smallwood
7. Alvin Kamara
8. Alex Collins
9. D’Onta Foreman

Wide Receivers
1. Danny Amendola
2. J.J. Nelson
3. Rashard Higgins
4. Jermaine Kearse
5. Kendall Wright
6. Marqise Lee
7. Allen Hurns
8. Mohamed Sanu
9. Jaron Brown
10. Devin Funchess

Tight Ends
1. Cameron Brate
2. Ben Watson
3. Jared Cook
4. Ed Dickson
5. Evan Engram
6. Austin Seferian-Jenkins
7. Zach Miller

Defense/Special Teams
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Philadelphia Eagles
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Looking Ahead: Atlanta Falcons

Kickers
1. Graham Gano
2. Dustin Hopkins
3. Blair Walsh
Looking Ahead: Phil Dawson