INDIANAPOLIS — Tom Brady is sorry for denigrating hotels in Buffalo.
The New England Patriots quarterback apologized on Thursday for an off-the-cuff comment about Buffalo hotels. A day earlier, he said that hotels there are “not the nicest places in the world.”
In response, one of the top hotels in Buffalo offered a free night’s stay to show him he’s wrong. Brady appreciated the offer and said he was sorry for his comment. He suggested he should have picked a “non-NFL city” in his comment about places to stay that he didn’t particularly enjoy.
BACK AT PRACTICE: Rob Gronkowski practiced with the New England Patriots for the Super Bowl for the first time Thursday. Now coach Bill Belichick is waiting to see how the All-Pro tight end’s injured ankle responds.
Gronkowski, recovering from a high sprain in his left ankle, participated on a limited basis for the first time since being injured Jan. 22 in the third quarter of the 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game.
“He did some things. He didn’t do everything,” Belichick said. “We’ll see how he is (Friday). I think that will be the big key.”
HGH TESTING: The head of the NFL Players Association insists the league won’t “bully” its way to a test for human growth hormone.
At his annual Super Bowl news conference, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said talks continue in a bid to resolve the impasse over adding HGH to the NFL’s testing program – six months after the labor deal ending the lockout included a provision to allow checking for that performance-enhancing drug once players approved the process.
Originally, the league hoped it could start testing for HGH as soon as Week 1 of this season. Now there’s no certainty it’ll happen by the beginning of next season.
“No one will bully us into a test,” Smith said Thursday. “No one will force the players to accept something that’s unfair. How could we?”
The union has raised questions about the detection methods and appeals process.
PACKERS: Green Bay didn’t have to look far to find its new offensive coordinator, promoting quarterbacks coach Tom Clements to replace Joe Philbin.
Clements has coached the Packers’ quarterbacks since 2006, Mike McCarthy’s first year in Green Bay. Philbin left to become the Miami Dolphins’ coach in January.
49ERS’ STADIUM: NFL owners approved a $200 million loan Thursday to help the San Francisco 49ers build a stadium south of Santa Clara. The team plans to bid for future Super Bowls for the 68,000-seat stadium, which will be built adjacent to the 49ers’ facility.