New England, already decimated by injuries on offense, were missing their top two offensive stars at Friday's practice.
Tom Brady came down with an illness and missed practice. He is listed as questionable to play Sunday, but NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that the illness "didn't sound like an issue."
There is no need to be alarmed, Patriots fans -- at least not now. Gronk was a full participant in practice on Thursday, and Brady hasn't missed a regular season game since 2008. The Pats can clinch a first-round bye with a win over the Titans and a Broncos loss to the Steelers, a very likely scenario if both Brady and Gronk play.
In an alternate universe or a piece of Boston-based fan fiction, we'd like to think that both Gronk and Brady stayed up late attending a midnight screening of the new Star Wars movie and Brady just ate too many Red Vines.