New England Patriots: Top Five Stories From Training Camp

2 of 6

Jul 24, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) runs through drills during training camp at the team practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

1. State of ‘The Gronk’

After Bill Belichick announced tight end Rob Gronkowski had been cleared to practice before camp had begun, Pats fans everywhere rejoiced at the thought of Gronk terrorizing defenses once again. When he is on the field, he is like a one man wreaking ball, abusing anyone who attempts to get in his way.

But the Patriots made it clear they would not rush him back, just to make sure he is 100% by their week one opener in Miami. That is the ultimate goal. Obviously it would be nice if he were completely healthy throughout camp, as that would give him a chance to get acclimated before being thrust into game action, but his knee simply won’t allow that to happen.

Gronkowski has been participating in individual work, while being held out of the team 11-on-11 drills. However he did snag a few half-speed reps in the 11-on-11’s yesterday, which is definitely a good sign regarding his progress. As camp moves forward, look for the coaching staff to slowly increase his workload, until he is back to the old Gronk.