New England Patriots: The Curious Case of Rob Gronkowski

Jan 22, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski reacts after defeating the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 in the 2011 AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

All New England Patriots fans were elated at the start of the week to hear that star TE Rob Gronkowski was finally cleared to play and would likely take the field for the first time this season on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Gronkowski’s last time on the field was his brief appearance in the AFC Divisional Game of the playoffs against the Houston Texans, where he re-broke his repaired forearm. The fans’ elation turned to confusion and then dismay as Gronk’s status went from optimistic to questionable, and now he’s unlikely to suit up for Sunday’s game. Despite his many surgeries during the off-season, surely he should be back by now, right?

That’s what the Patriots organization thought as well, or they would have placed him on the PUP list to start the season. Players on the PUP list are eligible to return after week 6, but the Patriots thought he would be ready by week 3. This Sunday marks week 6 of the 2013 season, though, and still no Gronk sighting despite the fact he has been practicing for a while. While the team has actually cleared Gronkowski to play, the delay of his return is self-imposed. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, uses Dr. James Andrews for second opinions and he hasn’t yet cleared Gronkowski. It is interesting to note that Dr. Andrews is a knee surgeon, not an arm or back specialist relating to Gronk’s surgeries.

Nov 18, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) reacts after his touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts 59-24. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

As frustrating as it is to wonder when he will eventually take the field while watching the current offense struggle, his delay should be for the best. It’s obvious that he is fragile, and rushing his return just to have him re-injured would be devastating. If he doesn’t feel 100% ready to return, he shouldn’t step on the field. Think about it this way, when you’re sick you understand how you feel more accurately than your doctor does because you’re the one hurting. Your doctor may tell you it’s alright to return to work, but if you’re still in pain you have to decide for yourself whether or not you should. We should just trust that he knows his body and is doing all he can to heal properly for good. If delaying his return one more week means he will be present and healthy during the rest of the season and the playoffs, it will be absolutely worth it.

Topics: New England Patriots, Rob Gronkowski

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  • real pats fan

    Do you not check facts. Dr James Andrews is much more than a knee surgeon. And if Gronkowski on pup list couldn’t practice so once he was cleared would be way way behind. Didn’t need the roster spot had healthy scratches not on 46man active list every week.

    • Tim Dillon

      Andrews is an expert knee surgeon along with elbow and shoulders, not forearm or back. If the Patriots had known he wouldn’t be playing even now, they may have put him on PUP list, they may not. It’s pure speculation, but it’s obvious they would have preferred to know his real timeline for returning.

  • Carlos

    I wouldn’t try second guessing Gronk, like you say he knows his body best. If I broke my arm twice along with other problems you can bet I’d be pretty cautious about returning to THAT type if work .
    Here’s a question some have asked. IF Hernandez was found not guilty, innocent of all charges, would the Pats take
    Him back? If he was an innocent man, then why not? On a much smaller scale but no I the less pretty bad charges
    The Eagles took Vic back, it wasn’t a very nice crime, fighting dogs and killing some, and not. by very nice means.
    So what does everybody think? Let it be known I really don’t have much doubt that Hernandez did commit this crime
    And I have my own beliefs as to would he be re-hired , not much doubt there either. Innocent untill proven guilty, etc.
    Didn’t Ray Lewis have a similar problem?
    Adios

    • Tim Dillon

      That would make an interesting article, Carlos! I’ve wondered the same thing myself. I have a hard time believing the Patriots would take him back, but another team might.

    • Amar S.

      Vick was released by the Falcons and the Eagles took him, difference there. Hernandez is guilty, there’s too much evidence on him, as heartbreaking as it is for us fans we have to move on from it. Pats even gave their fans a chance to exchange his jerseys for a new one..

      It would be nice if we drafted a new TE similar to Hernandez / Jimmy Graham’s skill set along with Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas (similar skill set to Woodhead’s) for next season though!

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