There was some hope that both New England Patriots star pass-catchers Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola would be able to play in tomorrow night’s big game against the Atlanta Falcons, and I honestly thought we would see at least one of them (Rob Gronkowski) suit up and play. However, neither key player will make their return for the Patriots, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that both Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski did not make the trip to Atlanta with the team and will thus be ruled out.
Gronkowski and the Patriots reportedly disagreed on when the superstar tight end should return, as the Patriots believed that Gronk was healthy enough to play in Week 2, while Gronk and his “camp” believe he shouldn’t play until Week 6. Week 2 looks too early, because media reports in August pegged Week 3 as Gronkowski’s return date with Week 4 (late September) being just as likely. Gronk didn’t play last week, and he won’t play this week despite it being a big game and despite the fact that Week 4 is equally in between both Week 2 and Week 6. By the way, it would be an utter shame if Rob Gronkowski was out until Week 6, because the logic behind the Patriots not putting him on the PUP was the fact that they would only be missing their star TE for three weeks. Players are eligible to come off of the PUP in Week 7, so it would be almost a waste for Gronk to be out until Week 6.
Danny Amendola is in a different situation, and we really have to applaud his toughness for the fact that we were even discussing the chances of him playing. Amendola came into Week 1 with a slight groin injury, and he completely tore his adductors (those very crucial muscles that connect your thigh and hip) in the middle of the Buffalo Bills game. He heroically returned and showed his trademark toughness by making some really tough “wow” catches on third down to help save the day. Thankfully he didn’t partially tear the muscle or have a sports hernia, so he avoided surgery. Amendola wasn’t expected to be back this week, but he decided to start the week by practicing in full. He is progressing quicker than expected, and he is showing plenty of toughness. Both Gronk and Amendola should be on track to play in Week 5 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and I will be disappointed if Gronk doesn’t play then.