The NFL enters week 6 with a slew of big winners and even bigger losers. Those two extremes are perhaps captured best in the Manning household, but Eli’s not the only one with bad news this weekend. First, the Patriots have learned that Gronk is out for quite some time, and the Lions’ defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has learned that he will, in fact, have $100,000 less in his wallet.
But first, the Mannings. Big brother Peyton Manning on Sunday will lead his undefeated Denver Broncos into a slaughtering known as their game against Jacksonville. On the other end of the spectrum, little brother Eli Manning will spend Sunday licking his wounds after throwing three interceptions in a Thursday night loss that left the Giants as the only team this season without a win.
Somewhere between the two Manning quarterbacks lies the report about Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is out — again — this weekend. Gronk is out for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints even though he spent the entire week practicing. The news certainly isn’t rosy, with Tom Brady in desperate need of a new passing-game target, but it doesn’t seem to matter. According to ESPN, “Asked what he and doctors need to see to know that he is ready to return to the field, Gronkowski replied, ‘[I'm] really just taking it each day at a time and just trying to improve each day at a time. And that’s all.’”
The Detroit Lions, on the other hand, find themselves fielding inquiries about bad news of another sort. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, long accused of being a dirty player, has officially lost his appeal of his $100,000 fine for his below-the-belt block earlier this season. The fine, which came directly from the NFL, was unprecedented in its amount, and it appears Suh will retain the dubious distinction of being the first one to pay that hefty of a sum. The $100K fine marked the sixth time Suh has been fined during his four-year career.
By far, though, the most unfortunate, tragic and heart-wrenching news out of the NFL this evening comes out of Minnesota. Running back Adrian Peterson, who was excused from practice earlier this week to attend to personal matters, has now learned that his two-year-old son has died from alleged abuse-related injuries. Words cannot describe what Peterson must be going through, and there’s nothing meaningful we can offer here to fully express our condolences. The best thing, perhaps, is to leave it at that and let him grieve in his own way knowing that the thoughts and prayers of every NFL fan are surely with him.