Pats have lengthy injury report: Ahead of Sunday’s divisional round contests against the Houston Texans, there is a laundry list of players on the injury report for the New England Patriots. Among them, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker were all listed as “limited” on the report. If this were any other team, it might be reason for concern…but it’s Bill Belichick. The Patriots’ head man is notoriously secretive when it comes to listing injuries, choosing normally to list anyone with even the slightest nick or sprain on the injury report. It’s something that has frustrated fantasy owners and Playoff Challenge participants alike. Of note, however, Gronk has been legitimately limited in practice at times this week as he recovers from a broken forearm. However, it would be a major surprise not to see him on the field once the game starts this weekend.
Jaguars to stage QB competition: New Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell made headlines Thursday for his outright dismissal of Tim Tebow as a quarterback option for the team. So instead of focusing on who won’t be in Jacksonville next season, we can all focus on who will — namely Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. Caldwell reminded reporters that Gabbert is the second-youngest QB in the league and said the team plans to allow its two top signal-callers to compete for the job. Neither player was particularly special for the Jaguars this season, but there are reasons to think 2013 could be a little bit better, including Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon, and a healthy Maurice Jones-Drew. Beyond that, we’ll see how the competition goes before making any other value judgments.
McGahee could return next week: The return of Denver Broncos running back Willis McGahee has been imminent for some time and now the team says the veteran is on track to play in the AFC Championship Game — provided the Broncos make it that far. For anyone rolling with Knowshon Moreno in the Playoff Challenge (including yours truly), that’s a potentially nerve-wracking statement. However, considering McGahee hasn’t played since Week 11, it’s hard to envision him usurping the full workload from Moreno. Plus, if you started Moreno previously, the prospect of double or triple points is still pretty intriguing. Then again, if Denver fails to get past the Baltimore Ravens this weekend, it’s all a moot point.
— Marcas Grant
Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG