Various reports have circulated stating that Rob Gronkowski is not expected to suit up for the New England Patriots tomorrow night against the San Francisco 49ers, and they all seem to be stating the obvious. Gronk set this week as his goal to start practicing, but a return against the Niners would be too early. It still hasn’t been a full month since he broke his forearm, and one practice isn’t enough for one to be confident in Gronkowski being healthy enough to play against San Francisco.
Pro Football Talk has given the most definitive report that Gronkowski will not be playing despite somehow being listed questionable on the New England Patriots official injury report. The report from PFT is easy to believe and right on the money, given the thoughts of other beat writers and earlier reports from the NFL Network and ESPN.
Without Rob Gronkowski, it’s going to be the Aaron Hernandez show once again. He has caught eight passes in the last two games and is fully healthy. The Patriots released the ineffective Visanthe Shiancoe, so the TE line-up is going to be the same as it was last week minus Shiancoe (who really didn’t even play). Daniel Fells will be in quite a bit to do the blocking, which is something that will certainly be beneficial to the running game.
In fact, Gronkowski is not even expected to play in Week 16 against the Jacksonville Jaguars (I think we can live without him for that game) and might only play one game in the regular season in Week 17 against the Miami Dolphins. Adam Schefter reported that this is the Patriots plan, as they just want to get Gronk ready for the postseason.
Sounds like a good plan to me.
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