Amendola and Gronkowski, who reportedly didn’t make the trip from New England to Atlanta, officially have been downgraded from questionable to out.
It’s a common outcome for players who are designated on Friday as having a 50-50 chance of playing. Come Saturday, the 50 goes to zero when the player ends up not making the trip to the site of the game.
The fact that home-team players rarely get downgraded from questionable to out reconfirms that team’s play games with the injury reports. (I know, you’re shocked.) The Patriots, who proclaimed that both players have an equal chance of playing and not playing just a day ago, were forced to concede that the players aren’t playing when they left them home.
The fact that the Patriots knew more than 24 hours before kickoff that the players couldn’t play suggests that the actual likelihood of the players playing was far closer to doubtful than questionable on Friday.
But all’s fair in love, war, and football, which coaches all too often love to compare to war when justifying methods that don’t necessarily comply with the letter or spirit of the rules.