It is possible for the New England Patriots to get both injured star pass-catchers Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola back from tomorrow night’s big showdown against the Atlanta Falcons, but there is also a chance of the Patriots having both players out for a third straight game. Gronkowski looks like the better bet to suit up against the Falcons, because reports late in the offseason indicated that Gronkowski would be ready to play last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That never materialized, and a report from the Boston Herald seems to explain why.
According to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, with contributions to the report from columnist Ron Borges, the New England Patriots and Rob Gronkowski have a disagreement on when the superstar tight end should return from offseason arm and back surgeries. Per the Herald, Gronkowski and his camp believe that he needs more rest and worry of him getting injured again (most fans share this very legitimate worry), while the Patriots believe that Gronk is healthy enough to play this week. In fact, the Patriots believed that Gronkowski was healthy enough to play in Week 2 against the New York Jets, which is why we heard reports state that it was possible for him to play in Week 2. Most of us agreed that playing him in Week 2 would be too soon, but Week 3 or 4 has always been a legitimate timeline.
However, Gronkowski’s camp has always viewed Week 6 as the best return date for the star TE, and this would be one game before a hypothetical PUP return from Gronk. The Patriots put Gronk on the 53-man roster for a reason, and that was with the belief that Gronk would return from his injury after a few weeks and be of major service to the Patriots offense. If you believe in compromise, then he should be back tomorrow, because Week 4 is right in between Week 2 and Week 6. It’s a big game, and I think we’ll see Rob Gronkowski playing tomorrow. It’s cloudy, but I think there is more of a chance that Gronk plays than not.