Though the Chiefs will not publicly acknowledge the anniversary of the Jovan Belcher tragedy during Sunday's game against the Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium, Peyton Hillis and anyone associated with the team can never forget that awful day last Dec. 1, when the former West Babylon High School star fatally shot his girlfriend and then himself.
"I had a locker right beside [Belcher], so yeah, it affects you," said the Giants running back who played for Kansas City last season. "He was a real quiet guy on and off the field. A funny guy, too, so it was a shock to all of us."
Hillis said the mixed emotions the players experienced the following day when the Chiefs beat the Panthers were intense. On the one hand, they had lost a teammate; on the other hand, he had murdered the mother of the couple's daughter.
"You find out that a lot of people hide a lot, either because of embarrassing things or people judging you," Hillis said. "We all make choices. I still remember who he was as a man and who he was as a player, and I respect that. We lost a loved one. It wasn't our point to judge what was going on in his life."
Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis (groin) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Panthers. If Revis can go, he'll match up against Carolina's Steve Smith.
Since Rob Gronkowski has returned to the lineup in their seventh game, the Patriots are averaging 32.6 points per game. They were averaging 20.8 without him in their first six.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has settled down nicely after taking over for injured Titans quarterback Jake Locker. Fitzpatrick has completed 71.8 percent of his passes with five touchdown passes and no interceptions in his last three games. He has the Titans (5-6) very much in the AFC wild-card race.