New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski is well on the road to recovery, and it seems like recent indicators are pointing towards Gronkowski avoiding a trip to the PUP list. ESPN Boston’s Field Yates tweeted that Rob Gronkowski is working “extensively” on individual drills during today’s practice with the assistant strength coach, and he is actually catching passes and doing “agility drills”, per Yates. This is certainly a great development for Gronkowski, and it seems like the reported expected date of recovery for Week 3 will be realized. If Gronk is ready by then, then the Patriots should really skip out on the PUP list and simply cut Daniel Fells, who is a decent tight end but most likely costs too much.
Rob Gronkowski, according to the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, had the same back surgery as New York Giants star pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul, and Volin tweets that it was done by the same doctor. The only difference is that JPP had the surgery two weeks earlier, and JPP just came back from the active/PUP list today. That seems to put Gronkowski on track for a Week 3 return, but the Patriots still have the answer the difficult question of whether or not to place Rob Gronkowski on the reserve/PUP list to start the season.
He is such a talented player that if he is back, then it makes complete sense to play him without any questions. However, it is understandable for the Patriots to hold him out and place him on the PUP if they have concerns about his long-term health, and the Patriots have enough depth at tight end to do that. Ultimately I think Gronk avoids the PUP and comes back in Week 3, and it is certainly great to hear that Gronk is already catching passes, doing drills, and is on track for that Week 3 date. To this point, his recovery has gone incredibly well.