Rob Gronkowski hopes to play a bigger role in the Patriots offense this week.
A trip to the lowly Cleveland Browns is the most tailor-made “get well” game Rob Gronkowski is likely to find this year–especially with Tom Brady back under center.
Hampered by a nagging hamstring injury, the all-pro tight end missed the first two games of the season. In his Sept. 22 return against the Texas, he only played 14 snaps and was held without a catch. He got more work against the Bills on Oct 2., seeing 39 snaps of game action and catching one pass for 11 yards.
We could see more of Gronkowski this week, however.
The Patriots need more production from Gronkowski if they hope to be serious Super Bowl contenders this year. In his Wednesday press conference, Gronk admitted that, coming back from injury, he hasn’t been able to play like his normal self yet.
“Coming back, you just can’t go full speed, 100 percent. I mean, I wish I could. I wish it was like that, just boom, I’m healthy. Boom, go out there and run full speed,” he said.
A healthy Gronkowski by himself is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses–even more so now with Martellus Bennett flanking him at the other tight end spot. Thus far, however, the Patriots have been unable to realize their full potential, in part because of Gronkowski’s injury, but also because of the tumult at the quarterback position.
A Week 5 contest against a Cleveland team whose season, for all intents and purposes, is already over seems like as good a time as any for Gronk to seriously test out that hamstring. Brady will no doubt be looking to make a statement in his season debut, which will likely translate to opportunities for all the skill position players to make plays in the passing game.