Lost in the Tim Tebow shuffle is a bit of actually significant news: ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported that New England Patriots tight end Rob Grokowski will start the year on the active roster, and not the PUP list:
Patriots will carry TE Rob Gronkowski on their 53-man roster and not place him on PUP, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2013
There are a lot of pros and cons to this news - as we broke down earlier in the week.
The most significant pro is of course that Rob Gronkowski is very close to playing. Which means that the Patriots are very close to getting their best offensive threat back in uniform.
However, the Patriots need to be careful that there is limited re-injury risk in having Gronkowski return earlier than expected. If the Patriots are going to make another playoff run, they'll need to have Gronkowski healthy and playing.
We also don't know yet when Gronkowski will actually return to the field. We can assume that he will be back before week six since they're choosing not to put him on reserve/PUP. Nonetheless, he isn't currently expected to suit up for week one.