This may finally be the week Rob Gronkowski steps on the field.
The New England Patriots star is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against New Orleans, but NFL Media’s Albert Breer has reported that Gronkowski is expected to play. The tight end said earlier this season that Week 6 would be his preference for returning to action.
Gronkowski, a former Arizona Wildcat, has been recovering from a forearm injury and back surgery. The 2010 second-round draft pick has 187 catches, 2,663 yards and 38 touchdowns in 43 games in his career.
Player of the Week
• Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
The UA product replaced the injured Michael Vick Sunday and led Philadelphia to a 36-21 win over the New York Giants. Foles completed 16 of 27 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Foles will make his first start of the season Sunday at Tampa Bay; Vick has been ruled out because of a hamstring injury.
Four to watch
• Nick Folk, K, New York Jets
The Arizona alum produced his seventh career game-winning field goal Monday, when he converted on a 43-yarder to lift the Jets past the Falcons. Folk will put his perfect kicking record up against the Steelers this week.
• Antoine Cason, DB, Arizona Cardinals
Cason picked up his first fumble recovery in his six years of professional football in the fourth quarter of last weekend’s win over Carolina. The Cardinals travel to San Francisco for a NFC West Division contest on Sunday.
• Jeff Tuel, QB, Buffalo Bills
The former Salpointe Catholic High School quarterback appeared in his first NFL game last Thursday and completed eight passes for 80 yards. Tuel and the Bills return home Sunday for a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
• Brooks Reed, LB, Houston Texans
The Sabino High School and UA grad recorded five tackles last weekend against the 49ers. The Texans face the Rams this week.
The Big Number
51 Tackles this season for Lance Briggs, which places him first in the NFL. The Chicago Bears linebacker picked up 11 tackles and a sack in last week’s loss to New Orleans.
Give the Devil his due
Every week, we’ll highlight one former ASU player who’s playing well at the pro level. (Relax, people, it’s just one guy.)
• Vontaze Burfict, LB, Cincinnati Bengals
Burfict compiled a team-high seven tackles and one sack Sunday to help the Bengals hand the Patriots their first loss of the season. The ex-ASU linebacker has 50 tackles on the year, one behind Briggs for the league lead. Burfict will get his first career look at the Buffalo Bills this Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
He Said It
“Nick has prepared himself
like he’s going to be the starter
every single week, and when his
opportunity came I think he took
advantage of it.”
— Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly,
on Nick Foles’ performance last week against the Giants.