ESPN’s Adam Schefter is one of the most connected sports reporters on the planet and he is offering some analysis on New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Take note that this is not a report, but instead speculation by someone that usually has great information.
“The New England Patriots flew out to Arizona on Friday for a game this weekend. They didn’t bring their tight end, Rob Gronkowski. He was not well enough to make that trip, so that tells you there’s a question mark about whether or not he’ll be able to play this upcoming week against Miami,” Schefter said Monday on SportsCenter, as transcribed by NESN’s Doug Kyed. “And the following week, the Patriots play a Thursday night game on a shortened week against the Houston Texans. So, I think there’s real questions about whether Rob Gronkowski can play the first few games of this season at this point in time.
“And with Tom Brady out four weeks, Rob Gronkowski could miss more time. They’ll chart him this week, they’ll see how it goes, but everyone always expects and assumes that Rob Gronkowski’s going to be out there with his bionic nature. But the fact of the matter is he’s got the hamstring injury.”
The tl;dr is that Gronkowski didn’t travel to face the Cardinals, which means he wasn’t a game-time decision and, therefore, not a lock to return for week 2, or the short-week 3.
Personally, I wouldn’t read too far into this, although I’d take special note if Schefter is the first reporter to announce that Gronkowski will play against the Dolphins an hour or two before kick off.
The analysis is sound, in my opinion, because head coach Bill Belichick has never been afraid to rest a starter. Belichick cares more about December and January than September and if giving Gronkowski a few weeks off in September reduces the risk of re-injury, then Belichick will make that choice every time.
It also doesn’t hurt that Martellus Bennett was outstanding against the Dolphins as an every-down player. It’ll be fun to see both Bennett and Gronkowski on the field, but, as it currently stands, there is no guarantee that Gronkowski will play this week.