Despite his ‘questionable’ tag, it was a common thought that tight end Rob Gronkowsk would not see the field today as the Patriots take on the Buccaneers. He is still not 100%, and I would think the Patriots want him ready to go for next week’s game against Atlanta.
Today it was reported by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport that Gronk would indeed not play today, but it is his forearm that is holding him back. This is interesting because it was expected that Gronk’s back surgery would take longer to heal than his fourth forearm surgery. Gronk also received back surgery after his last surgery on his arm, so that makes this news even more surprising.
Gronkowski’s presence on the field would severely help the Patriots struggling offense, but Brady will have to wait at least another week to get his freak of nature back. Judging by all the reports that have come out of Foxboro, I think that Gronk is close to full strength, but the Patriots coaches want him completely healed for their Sunday Night showdown with the Atlanta Falcons. This game has a much higher potential to be a shootout than today’s contest with the Bucs, and Brady will definitely want his tight end back for that matchup.
Offensive lineman Will Svitek, wide receiver Matthew Slater, running back Leon Washington, linebacker Steve Beauharnais, defense lineman Chris Jones and of course receiver Danny Amendola are the rest of the Pats inactives.