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Jets prepare for Patriots, Rob Gronkowski

The tight end beat safety Jamal Adams for a pair of touchdowns in the Jets’ Oct. 15 loss.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski looks on before

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski looks on before a game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 15, 2017. Photo Credit: Lee S Weissman

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Sunday, the Jets will again take on the Patriots and tight end Rob Gronkowski. In the first meeting, Oct. 15, Gronkowski caught six passes for 83 yards with two touchdowns in the Patriots’ 24-17 win. He beat safety Jamal Adams for two touchdowns and drew a pass interference penalty on him.

It should be another good matchup for the rookie safety against the veteran.

“He’s a good player that brings a lot of energy to the field,” Gronkowski said of Adams during a conference call Wednesday. “As a player, myself, I have to come ready. I have to come prepared because he’s going to be bringing it, so it’s going to be another good game Sunday. We’re preparing hard and they’ll be coming hard, so it’ll be a good matchup.”

The Jets are tied for third in the NFL with the most touchdowns allowed to a tight end (9) this season.

The linebackers and safeties have had fits not only with Gronkowski, but Antonio Gates and Travis Kelce this season. Adams has been the key cover guy in most of those situations.

“As a rookie, you grow every week,” Todd Bowles said of Adams. “It’s not the past meeting from the Patriots. He likes to grow every week from different experiences he has during the game, and from a maturity standpoint, him figuring things out and what people are trying to do him, he’s gotten better every week.”

Winters goes on IR

Starting right guard Brian Winters was placed on IR with an abdomen injury and surgery is a possibility. Winters had shoulder surgery in the offseason before signing a four-year $29 million deal with $15 million in guarantees. Winters has the third highest cap number on the Jets roster in 2017 at $8 million. Without Winters, the Jets will use Dakota Dozier as the starter. Defensive lineman Deon Simon was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster to replace Winters.

Wilkerson to make the trip

While not saying if he’ll play or not, Bowles said troubled defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson will make the trip to the Jets’ game in Foxborough on Sunday. Wilkerson was a healthy scratch last week against the Chargers and it’s expected that will happen again against the Patriots.

“We’ll make that decision Sunday,” Bowles said.

Jets Streams

WR Robby Anderson (illness), CB Morris Claiborne (foot), RB Matt Forte (knee), WR Jermaine Kearse (ankle), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ribs, foot), RT Brandon Shell (concussion) and DE Leonard Williams didn’t practice . . . The Jets signed DL Francis Kallon to the practice squad.

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