New England Patriots All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski pulled up with an apparent injury during Monday’s practice. He walked “gingerly” to the sideline and spoke with tight ends coach Brian Daboll and head athletic trainer Jim Whalen before he left the field under his own power.
According to a former Patriots beat writer, and current NFL Network reporter, Gronkowski should be fine.
Sounds like whatever caused #Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski to pull up at practice is as minor as it seemed. No worries.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 16, 2016
Rapoport reports that whatever Gronkowski tweaked was “minor” and that there are “no worries.” I’m sure Gronkowski felt a strain or a pull on a lower body muscle and asked the trainer for advice. The Patriots realize that Gronkowski is the most important non-Tom Brady player on the roster and they sent him right back into his bubble wrap for the rest of the day.
Remember that Gronkowski suffered a pectoral (chest) injury earlier this offseason, so he’s been battling injuries for the past few months. Gronkowski was never going to participate in the preseason games anyway, so hopefully he can rest up and be 100% by week 1.
Patriots.com’s Andy Hart actually drew an interesting comparison for Gronkowski:
Gronk leaving practice today reminded me of Moss in camp 2007. Next we saw Moss was dominating opening day. Same for Gronk?— Andy Hart (@JumboHart) August 16, 2016
Let me know if this story from August 1st, 2007 sounds familiar, per USA Today:
“Randy Moss left the New England Patriots practice Wednesday with an apparent upper leg injury.
“During an 11-on-11 passing drill about halfway through the team's afternoon practice, the only one of the day, Moss reached in the end zone for a ball thrown by Tom Brady. The pass was incomplete and Moss immediately went to the sidelines.
“A trainer applied an ice pack and wrap to the wide receiver's upper left leg. Moss did not return to the practice. The ice pack and wrapping were taken off before the team left the field at the end of practice and Moss walked off under his own power.”
Moss missed every preseason game that year. In week one, he collected 9 receptions on 9 targets for 183 yards and a touchdown, en route to one of the best wide receiver seasons in NFL history.
If Gronkowski can follow in Moss’ footsteps, I think everyone will be happy to see him rest up for the rest of preseason.