Patriots say Rob Gronkowski, 2 others will miss opener
FOXBOROUGH >> Tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss the New England Patriots' opener against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night because of a hamstring injury.
The team confirmed Friday night that Gronkowski had been downgraded from questionable to out for the game. Also missing the game will be offensive linemen Jonathan Cooper and Nate Solder — and suspended quarterback Tom Brady.
The Providence Journal first reported that the players did not travel with the team to Phoenix. The team declined to comment about whether the players made the trip.
Gronkowski has had limited participation in practice this week with the injury he sustained during a joint training camp practice with the Chicago Bears on Aug. 15. He didn't play in any of New England's preseason games.
Gronkowski said during the week that he wanted to play but would leave it up to the coaches and doctors. He said he was not 100 percent.
"Not since that one time when we were practicing with the Bears," he said on Thursday.
The Patriots were already trying to plug gaps on the offensive line after allowing 38 sacks in 2015, but Solder had been a steady presence over the past six years. Cooper came to New England in a trade for linebacker Chandler Jones, but he suffered a foot injury early in camp.
The Patriots released center Bryan Stork and placed right tackle Sebastian Vollmer on the physically unable to perform list at the end of camp. David Andrews, in his second year, is expected to start at center, and Marcus Cannon (eight starts in 2015) moved into the starting lineup at tackle.
Cooper has been dealing with a foot issue. Left guard Shaq Mason has a hand injury.
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