Sep 11, 2016 2:04 PM
First full day of NFL schedule and Brady, Gronk will be out
The Associated Press
This is the first full day of play in the NFL in 2016 and 13 games are on the schedule. In Glendale, Ariz., a familiar face will be missing from the visitors' bench tonight as Tom Brady starts his four-game suspension. He is just one of several players missing today's action. Most of the other suspensions were for the use of banned substances, while Brady is out for his role in the "Deflategate" saga.
In Brady's place this evening, Jimmy Garoppolo will be taking the snaps for the Patriots.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss the New England Patriots' opener against the Arizona Cardinals 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.
Among the early starts, Robert Griffin III is getting his first start at quarterback for Cleveland. The Browns are in Philadelphia facing the Eagles as rookie Carson Wentz gets his first start in the pros.
Quarterback is an uncertain position with Minnesota as Teddy Bridgewater was lost for the season after suffering a knee injury in practice. To fill the void the Vikings traded for veteran Sam Bradford. The Vikes are facing a team with no quarterback issues as Tennessee has Marcus Mariota.
Houston begins defense of its AFC South title with a game at home with Chicago. Three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt is coming off two offseason procedures on his back.
In Kansas City the Chiefs are hosting the Chargers. San Diego's top draft pick, Ohio State's Joey Bosa, sat out most of training camp and may not be suiting up as he has an injured leg.
The remaining early games feature the Saints home to the Raiders, Tampa Bay in Atlanta, the healthy Ravens home to the Bills, the Bengals in New York playing the Jets and the Packers at Jacksonville. The Jaguars have announced that running back Chris Ivory has been hospitalized with a "general medical issue" and will miss the game.
In the late afternoon starts, the Cowboys are hosting the Giants. Dallas has Dak Prescott behind center with the latest injury to Tony Romo. In Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck returns to action for the first time since Nov. 8. His 2015 season was one of injuries. And in Seattle it's the Seahawks against the Dolphins.
And today marks the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington. NFL teams will commemorate the anniversary with video messages from President Barack Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush. Each club will have special guests on the field, including first responders, community volunteers, hometown heroes and military members, for pregame activities and the playing of the national anthem.
Vice President Joe Biden will join 120 first responders in holding the American flag during the anthem at Philadelphia. Bush will toss the coin in Dallas, accompanied on the field by two NYPD officers who responded to the attacks.
All coaching staffs have been given 9/11 lapel pins, and a special 9/11 decal has been placed on players' helmets.