The New England Patriots tight end situation is iffy right now, because Rob Gronkowski is still most likely a week away from playing, and his replacement Zach Sudfeld pulled a hamstring on Sunday. While it is possible that Gronkowski plays on Thursday against the New York Jets, the chances of this happening are unlikely. Gronk doesn’t seem healthy enough to play, and the target date for Week 3 should not have deviated. But I am betting that the Patriots feel more pressure to play Gronkowski in Week 2 than they did before the Buffalo Bills game, simply because Danny Amendola, Shane Vereen, and Sudfeld are nursing injuries.
Seeing that they needed depth at tight end, the Patriots picked up Matthew Mulligan again yesterday after a roster spot was cleared when Shane Vereen was placed on the designated-to-return I.R. Mulligan is a blocking TE, and his signing means that the Patriots will not have to face the possibility of playing against the New York Jets with just one tight end. If Gronk and Sudfeld missed the game without Mulligan on the roster, then Michael Hoomanawanui would have been the only healthy TE on the roster.
Gronkowski and Sudfeld were both limited in practice yesterday, and I definitely don’t expect Gronk to play. Sudfeld could very well miss Thursday’s game, but I think we’ll see him play some snaps (I doubt he starts) on Thursday.