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The whacky world of the Patriots and the NFL continues

Let’s see, one AFC East team you love to hate has a player who is so hurt he’s having surgery, yet the team disputes the injury.

Another AFC East team – more near and dear to your hearts – has a player they say is hurt while all indications are, including hints from the player hmself – that he’s healthy enough to play.

Welcome to the wild, whacky world of the NFL employee relations. With the New York Jets, veteran guard Kelechi Osemele says he has a torn right labrum and was set to have surgery all while the Jets say nay nay you’re healthy.

Meanwhile, more Josh Gordon intrigue with the Patriots. Gordon has intimated through social media that he’s healthy, some reports say he’s looked fine, and Patriots coach Bill Belichick says otherwise and the team placed him on injured reserve on Wednesday.

“We’re just following the rules,” Belichick said, adding whether Gordon eventually gets waived is “a conversation for later. He’s not healthy right now, so….”

Something’s up, but Gordon just has never looked like Gordon since he returned to the Patriots in August, and kept getting more and more banged up as time went on.

Meanwhile,the Patriots seem up to something. In ridding themselves of a headache in Michael Bennett, they’ve created some cap space as the trade deadline is Tuesday.

As Gordon would say, “Interesting.”.

And so are this week’s picks:

PATRIOTS 30, BROWNS 13

Belichick will no doubt do some things to confuse Baker Mayfield MTR (the Mouth That Roared), causing him to run around looking for Jarvis Landry (win guarantee) or Odell Beckham Jr. The Browns have had enough problems even with all their offensive talent that they have benched starting left tackle Greg Robinson. They’ll score just a little against the best defense in the NFL (seems so strange writing that phrase). Meanwhile, Mohamed Sanu, who Tom Brady says “brings a lot of juice”, makes a couple of big catches to prove his worth.

But the biggest mismatch: Belichick vs. Freddie Kitchens.

JAGUARS 27, JETS 21

Sam Darnold won’t be seeing ghosts but he will be seeing Jags new wonder boy/rock star QB Gardner Minshew torching his defense for a couple of scores. Boy, tough year for New York football, isn’t it?

TEXANS 30, RAIDERS 13

Oakland’s slide against mobile quarterbacks on the road continues. The Texans need to take the next step with Deshaun Watson, why not start now?

PANTHERS 24, 49ERS 21

Upset special. The Panthers with Kyle Allen as their QB seem to be a different team, and we think they are now good enough to knock off an unbeaten on the road. Allen will outplay Jimmy Garoppolo. Yes, we wrote it.

SAINTS 40, CARDINALS 14

Teddy Bridgewater’s time as a starter for the Who Dats is ticking down, so he will finish up in a blaze of glory before Drew Brees gets back, presumably next week. Meanwhile, the Cards aren’t going against the feeble Giants so don’t expect Kyler Murray to do much here.

PACKERS 27,CHIEFS 20

Patrick Mahomes, not ruled out by Thursday, really can’t be playing, right? Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers are on a roll and the Chiefs, especially if there’s no Mahomes for a couple of games with Matt Moore taking over, are falling back to the AFC pack. We do get to enjoy watching another Sunday Night in Kansas City before the Patriots make the big trip to Baltimore.

EAGLES 17, BILLS 13

Philadelphia has its problems, and the Buffalo defense is no pushover, but that Bills offense still struggles. Bills QB Josh Allen, it’s starting to look, really isn’t making the progress he should be making in his second year for Buffalo that he should be. Philly bounces back.

LAST WEEK: 5-2

SEASON: 32-18

Tom King may be reached at 594-1251 or tking@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow King on Twitter (@Telegraph_TomK).