Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski’s ankle injury, reportedly a high ankle sprain, has been one of the major storylines of Super Bowl XLVI. Gronk has quickly become a folk hero among Patriots fans due to his big plays and even bigger football spike, now called “gronking,” after he scores touchdowns. Patriots fans saw some gronking by the man himself 18 times this past season (17 receiving, 1 rushing). He also caught 90 passes for 1,327 yards. Both his yardage total and receiving touchdown total were NFL records among tight ends for a single season. To say that Gronk is an important cog in the Patriots’ offense would be the understatement of the year. In addition to his value as a pass catcher, he also stays in to block and does so very effectively.
When Gronk greeted the media for Media Day at the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, Patriots fans (and Tom Brady) were able to breathe somewhat of a sigh of relief.
Gronkowski was spotted on Sunday when the Patriots landed in Indy wearing a walking boot on his injured ankle. He has not practiced since the AFC Championship game when he injured his ankle. However, at Media Day earlier today, the big man was sans walking boot. Naturally, he fielded several questions about his ankle and his availability and effectiveness for the Super Bowl. In typical Patriots fashion, he was somewhat elusive addressing the media in terms of where he was with the injury and whether he would be playing on Sunday.
“I don’t know yet (if I’ll be able to play Sunday),” Gronkowski told a throng of reporters at Lucas Oil Stadium. “We’re going day by day. Making new steps every day, feeling better every day. That’s a positive sign and you just want to keep going in the right direction. I want to be out there with the team obviously. I want to help out the team obviously. Just taking it step by step, getting better every single day.”
Gronk didn’t know if he would be effective if he did play, considering he would likely be sore and without a practice under his belt. However, he is putting his trust in the training staff and the coaches in terms of hos availability and what he’ll be able and not be able to do. If the AFC Championship game is any indication, Gronk will be playing Sunday. He returned to finish the AFC Championship game after only about 10 minutes of real-time passing by. If he can muscle through that, I would venture that two week’s worth of rehab will allow him to suit up.
At least, let’s hope he does.