Rob Gronkowski sat out this week against the Bears, and he clearly hasn’t been right for a few weeks, if at all this year. So what do the Patriots do with Gronk now? When healthy, he’s the best tight end in the game, and maybe the single most unstoppable player as well. But, he has a history of injuries lingering for him. Should the Patriots let him rest and try to heal and sacrifice now in an attempt to keep him healthy for the postseason?
First off, this is why every other fan base hates us. The Patriots have played seven games and we’re already talking about what they should do in the playoffs. We’ve already penciled (more like sharpied) them in as the winner of the AFC East, and a contender in the AFC.
Now, on to answering the question: I think the Patriots need to sit him out for as long as possible. I’m not sure what exactly that means in terms of how long he’s going to sit out, but there’s no reason to play him if he’s not healthy. New England’s offense continues to move the ball and score, even without his production. Add a healthy Gronk to what they already have on offense, and they’ll be nearly unstoppable.
The biggest concern is the seeding. I know that Andy Reid’s teams almost always fall apart in the playoffs, but going to Arrowhead to play the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game is not something that I’d be overly confident about. Then there is just getting the bye. Right now the Patriots have the second best record in the AFC, but the Steelers, Bengals, Ravens, and Texans are all right behind them. It seems inconceivable that any of those teams will be able to catch them, but it’s at least worth remembering.
If there’s even a chance that Gronk isn’t 100% for Monday night’s game in Buffalo, I don’t want him playing. Now, he is from Buffalo, and loves playing there, typically crushing the Bills, but I don’t care. Every year is the same in New England. If you don’t win the Super Bowl, the season is a failure. The last thing I want is Gronk running out of steam or being too hurt to be able to dominate in the playoffs.
Yes, the Patriots have Edelman back, and they have Gordon now, but that’s even more of a reason to sit Gronkowski, in my opinion. You have a chance for a nearly unstoppable team with Brady at the helm. Don’t lose that because Gronk wants to hit some incentives during the regular season. Tell him you’ll pay him as if he reached everything if that will convince him, but do everything you can to make sure he’s healthy for the most important three games of the season.
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