Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski absent from practice to attend funeral

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was not present for the team's practice Wednesday afternoon as he was attending the funeral of his close friend, Dana Parenteau.

Gronkowski had dedicated Sunday's win over the Titans to Parenteau. When he scored a five-yard touchdown in the first quarter, Gronkowski raised both of his hands into the air and looked up.

"I was just pointing up to him because I know he's up there watching," he had said quietly after the game. "He was at every game with my family, a close family friend. He loved the game of football, loved being at all my games, always had my back. I definitely made that score for him."

Gronkowski and linebacker Jonathan Freeny (right hand) were the only players not present at practice.

Nine players were limited in practice: wide receiver Danny Amendola (knee), tight end Scott Chandler (knee), safety Patrick Chung (foot), safety Nate Ebner (ankle), wide receiver Julian Edelman (foot), linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee), guard Josh Kline (shoulder), wide receiver Brandon LaFell (foot) and safety Devin McCourty (ankle).

One notable takeaway from the practice is that the three big injuries from Sunday's game that knocked Amendola, Hightower and Chung out of the game aren't serious enough that those players couldn't at least warm up with their teammates.