New England Patriots superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL after taking a vicious hit from Cleveland Browns (now Denver Broncos) star strong safety T.J. Ward in Week 14, but there’s still a good chance he will be ready before the 2014 season starts. Gronkowski had a number of arm surgeries last offseason as well as surgery on his back, so the injury concerns are still there for the beastly TE.
The NFL Network’s Albert Breer reports that Gronkowski visited Dr. James Andrews this week, and he added that the 24-year-old Arizona product is “right where he should be” in his recovery. Per Breer, Gronk will begin jogging “soon”, so all the news on his front is positive at this point in time, though I doubt anyone would have expected anything different.
Gronk appeared in just seven games last season, as he was recovering from offseason surgeries and then had his season cut short by the severe knee injury. But in those seven games, Gronkowski was as great as ever as a pass-catcher and blocker, as the league’s top tight end hauled in 39 receptions for 592 yards, averaging over 15 yards per catch. Gronkowski is a ridiculous weapon for Tom Brady in the Patriots offense, and he opens up so much for wide receivers on the outside and other pass-catchers that work over the middle of the field like Julian Edelman.
The impact Gronkowski had on the Patriots last season was more than profound, and they need him back at his best next year. When he tore his ACL and MCL, a buddy and I sat there and said, “Their season is over.” They are a better team going into next season after adding Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner in free agency, but they still can’t afford to lose Gronk again. One thing that would mitigate the effect of an injury to Gronk and would allow him to ease into things is the drafting of a star TE in this year’s class; Jace Amaro and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are two names we’re all watching for closely in the 20-32 range.