Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Patriots' Pro Bowler Gronkowski will play

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The long wait for Rob Gronkowski's 2013 debut appears over.

The New England Patriots star tight end "has now been cleared by all his doctors to play Sunday in the Jets game," Drew Rosenhaus, his agent, said Friday.

Gronkowski's return would be very good news for the Patriots, who have struggled on offence, and bad news for the New York Jets, who would have to find a way to stop the two-time Pro Bowl standout. He was questionable on the Patriots' injury report Friday for the fifth straight week, meaning they list his chances of playing Sunday at 50-50.

Gronkowski had off-season surgery on his back and broken left forearm. But he participated in every practice on a limited basis since the season began, and has watched as the Patriots opened 5-1.

Lions' Suh fined again

NEW YORK -- The NFL confirmed the $31,500 fine handed down to Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for his hit on Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden last Sunday.

Since Detroit selected Suh with the No. 2 pick in 2010, he has been fined seven times for more than $200,000. The Associated Press reported the fine for this hit, for which he was not penalized in the game, on Wednesday.

Suh was fined $100,000 for an illegal block on Minnesota centre John Sullivan in Week 1 during an interception return. The Detroit player lost an appeal last week, upholding the largest fine in NFL history for on-field conduct, not counting suspensions.

Washington linebacker Perry Riley was fined $15,750 on Friday for his hit on Dallas quarterback Tony Romo. Riley's hit came after Romo threw a pass in the first quarter, and was called for a personal foul in the Redskins' 31-16 loss.

New England linebacker Brandon Spikes was docked $10,500 for a violation of the league's uniform policy. He wore "dominantly red shoes" in the Patriots' win against New Orleans.

Also from that game, Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins was fined $15,750 for his hit to the head of Patriots wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins in the third quarter.

White's streak over

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White will miss the first game of his nine-year career on Sunday.

The four-time Pro Bowl selection was one of three starters listed as out on Friday's injury report.

White, Atlanta's career-leading receiver, played the first five games with a right ankle injury, catching only 14 passes for 129 yards. He hurt his left hamstring in a Week 5 loss to the New York Jets and hasn't practiced since.

Atlanta (1-4) lost Pro Bowl wideout Julio Jones to season-ending foot surgery in the same game. Jones led the NFL in catches and ranked second in yards receiving at the time.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 19, 2013 C11

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