BOSTON Teams

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

RB Mike Gillislee (on 5 straight inactives): "It's been a coach's decision. ... It's not easy, I can tell you that. But I'm a team player and always going to put my team first. I'm not going to be a distraction."

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Keeping up with fantasy implications in Patriots-Steelers matchup (1:49)

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Red Sox liked Carlos Santana's combination of on-base skills, pop and leadership qualities. They just didn't value the package as much as the Phillies, who can point to Santana as a winning player in future attempts to lure veterans as part of their rebuild. Santana isn't a true middle-of-the-order thumper, but Sox hopeful his signing helps spur movement in the markets for J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer.

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Gronk not interested in questions about suspension (0:19)

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Rob Gronkowski deflected follow-up questions on the suspension and what led to it, saying his focus was on the Steelers. After about 2 minutes, and with questions not coming rapid fire, Gronkowski left abruptly and said, "Thank you guys, I'm out."

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski: "I definitely learned from the mistake that I made, for sure. But I have a huge game this Sunday, so I'm just putting all my focus on the Steelers this week."

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

As Elandon Roberts (52) and Malcolm Brown (90) loosen up at Patriots practice, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski stand next to each other in the distance. The two are looking forward to connecting again as Gronkowski returns from a one-game NFL suspension.

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
6hGreg Wyshynski

Weekly Reader: McDavid among biggest penalty-minute magnets

Why does Connor McDavid draw penalties at a higher rate than his peers? Because his ability to get into scoring position all but forces opposing players to foul him. Plus, the latest on the Seattle expansion front and more Jersey Fouls.

P Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
9hJerry Crasnick

Will winter meetings sparks finally light the hot stove fire?

The Marlins' salary dump continued, and critics took turns bashing them. A group of relievers cashed in. And, well, the rest of this week was more of a fact-finding mission than a splash of activity. Big moves are coming, it's just a matter of when.

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Gronk will be the difference for Patriots (0:44)
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Brady: Patriots must be above mediocre (0:51)

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

The Patriots had free agents DB Chandler Fenner (Holy Cross), DB Jonathon Mincy (Auburn) and LB Kacy Rodgers (Miami) in for workouts. The team regularly brings in free agents to keep emergency lists fresh, and at this time of year, to sometimes lay the foundation for 2018 future contracts.

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Steelers equipped to take down Pats (0:42)

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Tom Brady on why he has been at practice both days this week after taking at least one practice off for extra treatment each of the prior three weeks: "I'm just feeling better. It's a short week so just try to get out there and practice. Like I said, I take it week to week and I feel really good this week. So I'm very happy about that."

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Expectations keep Hogan on the love list (0:37)