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Patriots lose Gronkowski for season

Associated Press

The New England Patriots placed tight end Rob Gronkowski on injured reserve Monday with a damaged right knee.

Gronkowski was hurt midway through the third quarter of the Patriots’ win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday when he was hit on the knee by safety T.J. Ward after a 21-yard catch.

Gronkowski suffered a torn ACL and damaged MCL, a person familiar with the injury said Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team did not release those details.

Gronkowski missed the first six games this season after surgeries on his back and forearm and the Patriots went 5-1. In the next six games, he led all NFL tight ends with 37 catches and 560 yards receiving. They were 4-2 in those games, with a much more productive offense.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday that experience without Gronkowski could help.

“I’d like to think there’s going to be some carry-over there, not only (from) the first six weeks of the season, but the entire training camp as well,” he said.

Gronkowski caught TD passes in the last four games. On Sunday, he had two catches for 32 yards.

Koetter interviews with Boise State

Falcons coach Mike Smith says offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has interviewed for the Boise State coaching position, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Koetter, from Pocatello, Idaho, was Boise State’s coach from 1998-2000. He had a 26-10 record with back-to-back Humanitarian Bowl wins before six seasons at Arizona State.

Redskins’ Shanahan ponders sitting RG3

Mike Shanahan is still the head coach of the Washington Redskins, but Robert Griffin III might not be the starting quarterback this week.

Shanahan said he was thinking about sitting Griffin for the rest of the season because of concern the quarterback could be injured.

Shanahan points out Griffin has been sacked 24 times in five games, and two of the Redskins’ three remaining games will be played on artificial turf, including Sunday at Atlanta.

Shanahan no longer spoke as if it’s a given that he’ll be coaching the Redskins next season. He said owner Dan Snyder will make that decision at the end of the season.

Around the League

Receiver Wes Welker is unlikely to suit up for the Broncos’ game against San Diego on Thursday after leaving Sunday’s win over Tennessee with his second concussion in four games. … Arizona coach Bruce Arians confirmed that rookie safety Tyrann Mathieu tore an ACL and sustained further damage in his left knee and will undergo surgery. He was injured returning a free kick in Arizona’s win over St. Louis on Sunday.

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