Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will have surgery on his right knee Thursday, according to a report from’s Ian Rapoport. Gronkowski tore the ACL and MCL when he was hit by Browns safety T.J. Ward during a Week 14 game.

The procedure — the eighth surgery of Gronkowski’s career — will be performed by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

For the last 20 years or so, the formula for a championship offense was simple: elite quarterback, standout skill position players at wide receiver and/or tight end, and singular feature back who was capable of 250 to 300 carries a year to help carry the load on the ground. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The Patriots announced Monday they have placed linebacker Brandon Spikes on season-ending injured reserve with a knee injury.

Spikes, 26, is in his fourth NFL season after joining the Patriots as a second-round draft pick (62nd overall) out of Florida in the 2010 NFL Draft. Spikes played in all 16 games with 12 starts in the regular season and finished with 134 total tackles.

The Colts announced Monday they have signed former Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch.

Branch, who played most of seven seasons in New England, recently had a workout with Indy, so the signing didn’t come completely out of the blue. But it certainly adds some spice to this weekend’s divisional playoff game between the Patriots and Colts.

Here’s a portion of the press release from the Colts on the signing:

Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich checked in with Mut & Merloni on Monday to discuss the NFL playoffs. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday to preview Saturday night’s playoff game against the Colts. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Brady said he watched most of all four playoff games over the weekend.

There is no one way to win an NFL playoff game, just one thing you need: a quarterback.



A lot has changed about the Patriots-Colts rivalry, but the Indy offense the Patriots will face in Saturday’s divisional playoff game at Gillette looks just as explosive as the vintage version New England faced a decade or so ago.

In many ways, the only thing that’s different is that No. 12 is under center instead of No. 18.

CINCINNATI — The Patriots can get ready for Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium next Saturday night.

Andrew Luck engineered one of the great comebacks in NFL history Saturday night, erasing a 28-point third-quarter deficit on the way to a 45-44 win over the Chiefs in a crazy AFC wild-card contest.