I feel like the tea leaves surrounding the status of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski are becoming more and more clear as we approach kick off for week 3.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, formerly of the Boston Herald, has reported that Gronkowski is a game time decision and that there is a “real chance” that he could play.
The Boston Globe has a positive report as well.
“Tight end Rob Gronkowski has been telling teammates all week that he plans to make his 2016 season debut tonight,” the Globe’s Ben Volin reports.
We all know about the best laid plans of Mice and Gronk, but I’m starting to feel pretty confident that Gronkowski will suit up for the first time in 2016.
Now I’m not saying that he’ll be 100%. But I think he could be active and be a real part of the game plan.
Gronkowski has a lot of experience returning from injury, unfortunately, so we can see how the Patriots have treated his returns in recent years.
In 2013, Gronkowski played 64%, 50%, and 65% of the snaps in his first three games before moving to 88% and 100% the next two weeks.
In 2014, Gronkowski played 44%, 42%, 59%, and 62% before playing 79%, 79%, and 93% in his 7th game.
In 2015, Gronkowski played 61% against the Texans before moving back to 94% the next week.
The injuries have all been different, but the Patriots have been very intentional about gradually putting Gronkowski on the field. He’s not going to be a 90+% player in his first week back, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he played 60% of the snaps.