Despite practicing on Friday and being listed as questionable on the injury report, not many expected Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski to play in tonight's week 15 match-up against the San Fransisco 49ers. That being said, ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio is reporting this morning that the door has opened for a Gronkowski return:
When Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski landed on the final injury report as questionable to play on Sunday against the 49ers (along with 18 other Patriots), the initial word we received from a source with knowledge of the situation was that Gronkowski would not play only four weeks after fracturing his forearm.
Now, it's not quite so clear.
The same source says that, while it remains unlikely Gronkowski plays, his toughness and determination could result in an unexpected appearance on Sunday night.
It looks like it's going to be a tough call. And even if Rob Gronkowski wants to play, remember he would still have to be cleared by team doctors. If re-injury is a possibility, even if remote, I don't think anyone wants to see Gronkowski pushing himself. Tonight's game is certainly the Patriots' toughest remaining task. But regardless of what happens tonight as the Patriots jockey for playoff position, they've already booked their ticket to the dance. And having Rob Gronkowski healthy for the postseason is more important than having him for one regular season game, no matter who the opponent is.