Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE
Despite practicing all week, TE Rob Gronkowski is still some time away from returning.
The final practice of the week is in the books for both the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills, and while the Patriots' report (in true fashion) isn't particularly telling, it did rule out OL Will Svitek and all but eliminated Rob Gronkowski's availability for Sunday:
Rob Gronkowski's slim chance of suiting up doesn't come as a huge surprise--after all, the idea of placing him on the PUP list was kicked around to begin the season. His participation in practice all week does bode well for his future, however, and it'd be shocking if he were to miss any more than next week's Thursday night game against the New York Jets (and perhaps one more).
The only injury with a 'questionable' designation that jumps out is WR Aaron Dobson. While Bolden, Ebner and Harmon spell for upgrades already seated in their respective positions, Dobson needs to find his way on the field as the beneficiary of some much-needed reps. UDFA Kenbrell Thompkins appears to have supplanted him atop the depth chart after a strong preseason showing, but the coaching staff has high hopes for their second-round wideout out of Marshall who had his struggles. Some in-game experience and made plays will prove invaluable as Dobson tries to stake a claim back on the young receiving corps.
For the Bills CB Stephon Gilmore, K Dustin Hopkins and C Doug Legursky have all been ruled out, while disgruntled S Jairus Byrd joins them as 'doubtful' with plantar fasciitis in both feet. E.J. Manuel is listed as the lone 'probable', even though he's already been named the Bills' starter for week one by HC Doug Marrone.