Rob Gronkowski will not be making his return to Gillette Stadium on Sunday.
The 32-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end has been downgraded from doubtful to out ahead of the 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff versus the New England Patriots, as first reported by ESPN’s Jordan Schultz and Adam Schefter.
Gronkowski suffered a ribs injury in Tampa Bay’s 34-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams last weekend. He had been listed as a non-participant through three practices since then and was ruled doubtful on the final injury report.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said during his Friday press conference that Gronkowski would be a game-time decision.
Gronkowski has caught 16 passes for 184 yards and four touchdowns thus far into his second campaign with Tampa Bay. The No. 42 overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft ranks first in New England franchise history in touchdown receptions, second in receiving yards and fifth in receptions.
A member of the NFL’s 100th anniversary team, Gronkowski stands with 8,668 receiving yards over the course of his regular seasons. He is 16 away from eclipsing Greg Olsen for the fifth-most receiving yards by a tight end in league history.
The Buccaneers have also ruled out veteran outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, who had been listed as questionable due to a shoulder injury, and updated cornerback Carlton Davis’ status to questionable.