New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski missed practice on Friday after coming down with an illness, according to the team’s final injury report before Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The only other changes to the injury report were the removal of LB Dont’a Hightower, who is no longer limited with a knee injury, and the return of RB Brandon Bolden.
Did not participate - Out
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
TE Greg Scruggs (knee)
The absence of Freeny opens the door for rookie LB Elandon Roberts to solidify his role as the team’s #3 linebacker.
Limited - Questionable
TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB LeGarrette Blount (hip)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (right shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring/illness)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
OG Joe Thuney (shoulder)
DT Vincent Valentine (back)
Bennett, Blount, Edelman, Garoppolo, Mitchell, and Thuney should all be available on Sunday as they competed last week with the same injuries. Cannon, McClellin, and Valentine should be decisions closer to the game; OT Cameron Fleming, ED Rob Ninkovich, and DT Woodrow Hamilton played well in their stead.
Bolden will likely not play, allowing rookie D.J. Foster another chance to have an impact.
Collins and Gronkowski are worth monitoring, but I would be surprised if either player wasn’t unavailable on Sunday.
As for the Bengals, TE Tyler Eifert (back/ankle) was the only player declared out after missing practice all week. Every other player had full participation on Friday.