The New England Patriots offense would get the massive boost they sorely need in the short-term if Rob Gronkowski is able to suit up and play in the Pats Week 3 contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both familiar teams should end up playing in a close one, so the Patriots could really need Gronkowski in order to put them over the edge. Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, and Josh Boyce will all get better as the season goes forward, but they have had some major growing pains through the first two weeks and cannot be trusted. With Danny Amendola most likely out against the Buccaneers, having Rob Gronkowski back would be absolutely huge.
According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, Rob Gronkowski is a 50/50 play for Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers, and I think he ends up playing. There were several reports in the offseason stating that Gronkowski would be able to return in late September, more specifically at around Week 3. With the way things have been going right now, the Patriots might not want to give Gronk another week of rest. Some stated that Gronk could play in Week 2 and while I think that was never truly in play, it serves to show that Gronk is extremely close to being able to play. In fact, I think he’s going to be healthy enough to play in Week 3.
One variable likely at play here is the fact that the New England Patriots have a bigger Week 4 matchup when they face the Atlanta Falcons, and they might want to give Gronkowski another week of rest to be at 100% for that big game. The way I see it, the Patriots need to win now, but they also need to ease Gronkowski into things. My prediction is for Gronk to play on Sunday but to have his snaps limited. Even so, limited snaps from Gronkowski will make a positive impact on this game for the Patriots.