New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski made a sudden return to the practice field yesterday, as he was observed doing individual drills on the sidelines. This signified progress for Gronk, as he was able to participate in agility drills and catch passes. That led many of us to believe that Gronkowski is indeed on track for a Week 3 return (as reported several times by the likes of ESPN and the Boston Herald), and it also led us to believe that, more importantly, the Patriots would hold off on placing Gronkowski on the PUP.
But according to ESPN Boston and others, Rob Gronkowski is not at practice today, and he was the only player missing. Defensive end Jermaine Cunningham made his return yesterday to do drills on the sidelines, and he was back today. Even Mark Harrison, who is currently on the PUP list, was spotted.
So why was Gronk out despite doing drills yesterday? All guesses are equal in value at this stage, and this is even more interesting on the heels of a rather bizarre press conference in which Bill Belichick insisted that Rob Gronkowski has “been out there every day”. I say that the press conference was bizarre not out of frustration at a vague answer (we’re all used to that), but because he was pestered to answer the same Gronkowski question and clearly was not willing to give any details. It was just weird all around, and Gronkowsi’s absence today basically tells us that Gronk is progressing but still maybe a month’s off from being healthy. That’s my guess, and that’s really all most of us have at this point; guesses.