Gronkowski out for season
The New England Patriots have placed tight end Rob Gronkowski on injured reserve with a damaged right knee, meaning he will miss the rest of the season. Gronkowski was hurt midway through the third quarter of the Patriots’ 27-26 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday when he was hit on the right knee by safety T.J. Ward after a 21 yard reception. Gronkowski missed the first six games this season after forearm and back surgeries. In the next six games, he led all NFL tight ends with 37 catches and 560 yards receiving. On Sunday, he had two catches for 32 yards. The Patriots signed tight end D.J. Williams to the 53-man roster.
Watt to make pro debut
Australia’s Brady Watt, a semi-finalist at this year’s US Amateur, is to make his professional debut this week at the Thailand Golf Championship. The 23-year-old Watt, who reached No. 1 in the world amateur golf rankings in June, will attend next year’s Asian Tour School, but hopes to attract invitations to play globally. Watt said his dream as a boy was to turn pro eventually, “and I am absolutely delighted that this day has arrived.” Golf Australia high-performance director Brad James said the organization will continue to work with Brady through its Rookie Professional program, “which is specifically designed to support players as they make this transition.”
Celtic ban 128 fans
Scottish champions Celtic on Monday banned more than 100 of their fans in response to another outbreak of crowd trouble during last week’s win at Motherwell. A reported ￡10,000 (US$16,450) worth of damage was caused to seats in the lower section of the South Stand housing Celtic fans at Fir Park on Friday. A flare was let off in the same area before the game, while two green smoke-bombs were thrown into the goalmouth, one of them landing meters from Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster. Now, the club have handed “precautionary suspensions” to 128 supporters preventing them from attending home and away matches, while 250 season-ticket holders housed in Section 111 — the infamous Green Brigade’s corner of Celtic Park — will be moved to other parts of the ground. Celtic have already given the ultras group one reprieve this year after reversing a decision to shut down Section 111 following complaints about safety breaches in August.
Greenpeace at Madrid event
A banner from environmental activists Greenpeace protesting against Russian oil giant Gazprom’s exploration in the Arctic interrupted a Real Madrid press conference ahead of their Champions League clash away to FC Copenhagen on Monday. Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti and defender Pepe had just begun the press conference in the Danish capital when a banner was lowered behind them that read: “Save the arctic, show Gazprom the red card.” The banner was quickly removed by officials before the press conference continued. Gazprom is an official sponsor of the Champions League and it is not the first time Greenpeace has launched a protest of this type this season. In October, Swiss club FC Basel were fined 30,000 euros (US$41,260) when four activists abseiled from the stadium roof to unfurl a banner saying: “Don’t foul the Arctic” during their Champions League match against Schalke.