After playing their first two regular-season games in a span of five days, Patriots players were given the weekend off. They return to work today, with a practice scheduled in the mid-afternoon.
From a media perspective, Bill Belichick is scheduled to hold a conference call with reporters at 9 a.m. ET. Media access to the locker room is scheduled for after practice, around 4:15 p.m.
Some of the key storylines we'll be following:
1. Rob Gronkowski's potential return. The tight end continues to make progress and with an extra day of practice this week, the Patriots figure to be in full pads at some point. Of all players, that could be the most beneficial for Gronkowski to gauge if he's ready to make his return. We have now entered the sweet spot in which a Gronkowski return is a realistic possibility.
2. Tom Brady, patience and his young receivers. After his emotions boiled over on Thursday night, Brady acknowledged that he could do a better job with his body language. With a few days to digest it all, Brady is scheduled for his weekly radio interview Monday morning as the team transitions from Thursday's struggle to preparations for Sunday's home game against the Buccaneers.
3. Danny Amendola's health. Following Sunday's Fox Sports report, there should be some clarity in the coming days on whether or not Amendola will need surgery for a sports hernia, which could reportedly sideline him for as long as six weeks.
4. Getting familiar with the Buccaneers again. After holding joint practices with Tampa Bay from Aug. 13-15, and then playing the Buccaneers in the preseason at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 16, the teams will meet again on Sunday. The Buccaneers are 0-2 but could easily be 2-0. Their offense is struggling, but the defense looks particularly tough. One big difference from what we saw in the preseason: Cornerback Darrelle Revis is playing.