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NFL notes: Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski to miss game against 49ers

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) can’t catch a pass in the end zone over Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor (31) in the final moments of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. The Seahawks defeated the Patriots 31-24. (Matt West / Boston Herald via AP)
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) can’t catch a pass in the end zone over Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor (31) in the final moments of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. The Seahawks defeated the Patriots 31-24. (Matt West / Boston Herald via AP)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers with a chest injury, according to the injury report filed by the team on Friday.

Gronkowski was staggered in the second quarter of Sunday night’s game against the Seattle Seahawks after taking a hard hit to his chest from safety Earl Thomas. He returned to the game but did not practice all week.

Receiver Chris Hogan is also out for the game with a back injury, the team said.

Packers’ G T.J. Lang, LB Jake Ryan to miss Redskins game

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers will be without two more starters on Sunday night against Washington after coach Mike McCarthy said guard T.J. Lang and linebacker Jake Ryan would miss the game.

Lang has a foot injury and Ryan has an ankle injury. Both players were hurt in last week’s 47-25 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Left tackle David Bakhtiari, who also left the Titans game with a knee injury, appears likely to play against the Redskins. McCarthy said Friday he has no concerns about quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ blind-side protector.

McCarthy also says two other key injured players, tight end Jared Cook (foot) and linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring), have looked good this week in practice. They were listed as questionable on the injury report for Sunday’s game.

If Matthews can go, he could help replace Ryan at inside linebacker. Getting Matthews back could also help a pass rush that has slowed down the last few weeks.

Rams DE Robert Quinn says dehydration sent him to hospital

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Los Angeles Rams defensive end Robert Quinn says he was dehydrated when he spent a night in the hospital earlier this week.

Quinn returned to practice Friday with the Rams (4-5).

The veteran pass-rusher hasn’t decided whether he’ll try to play against the Miami Dolphins (5-4) on Sunday.

Quinn sounded fairly nonchalant when recalling his trip to the hospital Monday, shortly after the Rams returned to California from a road victory over the New York Jets.

Quinn says he has never experienced similar problems with dehydration. He plans to drink more water off the field.

Quinn has started six of the Rams’ nine games this season, contributing two sacks and two forced fumbles on the Rams’ dominant defensive line.

Chiefs without Maclin; Houston could play vs Tampa Bay

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs again will be without top wide receiver Jeremy Maclin when they play Tampa Bay on Sunday, though it’s increasingly likely linebacker Justin Houston will make his season debut.

Maclin was listed out on Friday’s final injury report with a groin strain. He hurt it in practice a few weeks ago, tweaked it against Jacksonville and was inactive last Sunday at Carolina.

Houston has not played after surgery in February to repair the ACL in his left knee. The four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher has been practicing for several weeks, though, and coach Andy Reid indicated Friday that he could be active against the Buccaneers.

Defensive end Jaye Howard is questionable with a hip flexor, while linebacker Derrick Johnson and cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Phillip Gaines are questionable with injuries.

Buffalo Bills hopeful Dareus will play against Cincinnati

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – With an additional week off, Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus might finally be in a position to play his second game of the season.

Though listing Dareus as questionable on Friday, coach Rex Ryan said he’s “feeling pretty good about the big man” playing at Cincinnati on Sunday. Dareus opened the season serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and then hurt his left hamstring during his first week of practice.

He made his season debut in 41-25 loss to New England on Oct. 30, but missed the following week because of a groin injury. Buffalo (4-5) is coming off its bye week.

Backup defensive tackle Corbin Bryant (shoulder) has been ruled out from playing Sunday.

Ryan says Ryan Groy will start at center in place of Eric Wood, who will miss the remainder of the season with a broken right leg.

Quinton Spain healthy and back as Titans starting left guard

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey says left guard Quinton Spain will start Sunday at Indianapolis after missing two games and serving as a backup last week.

Mularkey said Friday that Spain worked all week with the starters and will bring more size to the line.

Spain hyper-extended his right knee Oct. 23 in a 34-26 loss to Indianapolis.

Spain is part of revamped offensive line that has Tennessee (5-5) ranked third in the NFL in rushing and with only 14 sacks allowed. He says he feels good and is happy to be back out there.

Running back DeMarco Murray also practiced for a second straight day after being given Wednesday off to rest a sore toe on his right foot.

Dolphins’ Pouncey doubtful against Rams due to hip injury

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey is doubtful for Sunday’s game at the Rams because of a hip injury.

Pouncey left practice Wednesday due to the injury and sat out Thursday’s drills. An injury to the same hip forced him to miss the first four games of the season

The Dolphins are already without left tackle Branden Albert, out because of a dislocated left wrist.

Linebacker Jelani Jenkins was listed as doubtful Friday due to hand and knee injuries.

Titans’ Lewan, Falcons’ Neal hit with big NFL fines

NEW YORK – Tennessee left tackle Taylor Lewan and Atlanta rookie safety Keanu Neal drew hefty fines from the NFL on Friday for their actions last weekend.

Lewan was docked $30,387 for making contact with an official, a fine he says he will appeal. Neal was fined $24,309 for his helmet-to-helmet hot on Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews.

Washington defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins’ roughing-the-passer penalty on Minnesota’s Sam Bradford cost him $18,231.

Titans rookie receiver Tajae Sharpe was fined $12,154 for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Four players were nailed for $9,115 fines: Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion for a late hit, and defensive end Mike Daniels for unsportsmanlike conduct; Titans cornerback Perrish Cox for a hit on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the end zone; and Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. for a late hit.

A third-year tackle, Lewan was ejected on the first drive of the Titans’ second possession in last Sunday’s 47-25 win over Green Bay. He took exception to Guion hitting Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota on a play that drew Guion a penalty flag. Back judge Steve Freeman was trying to break up the players when Lewan brushed the official’s hands away.

Cox hit Rodgers a yard or so into the end zone after a 20-yard TD run by Rodgers in the third quarter. The flag came out late after the teams started pushing and shoving at the back of the end zone. Cox was penalized for unnecessary roughness.

Neal’s hit didn’t draw a flag but made Matthews’ lip bleed and dented his facemask. Matthews called Neal a dirty player.

Fowler made his late hit on Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler.

Tommie Smith to return to Mexico City to light Raiders torch

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith will return to Mexico City to light the torch honoring late Raiders owner Al Davis before Oakland plays Houston in an NFL game.

Smith will make his second trip back to Mexico City since he famously raised his black-gloved fist with bronze medalist John Carlos as a sign of black power following his win in the 200-meter finals at the 1968 Olympics.

Raiders owner Mark Davis invited Smith to join the team on its trip for Monday night’s game and light the torch that honors his father, who was a leading force in hiring minorities and women to major jobs in football.

Smith told ESPN that it’s an “historic moment” and praised the Raiders for always standing for diversity and civil rights.

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Swedish Thoracic Surgery: Partners in patient care

 (Courtesy Bergman Draper Oslund Udo)

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