New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski needed to take his time to recover from multiple arm surgeries last season, and he missed a chunk of the beginning of the regular season as a result. The Patriots patience paid off, but Gronk’s season was unfortunately cut short by a torn ACL after taking a vicious hit to the knee from former Cleveland Browns hard-hitting strong safety T.J. Ward. Gronkowski is reportedly progressing well from his knee injury, and we got a chance to hear him briefly speak about his injury in a radio interview.
Although he declined to state whether or not he thinks he’ll be ready to start the season (as he wisely pointed out, it’s too early to tell anyway), he did tell WAAF-FM’s the “Hill-Man Show”, via ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, that he is steadily improving with each week, “I’m actually improving every week. It’s feeling good and coming along very well.”
The superstar tight end added, “It’s been a while now and I’m just super excited to get this season rolling and get back out there on the field. I know it’s another few more months away, so I have more time to keep on recovering and keep on getting in shape.”
I think Gronkowski will be good-to-go when the season starts, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots allowed him to take as much time as needed, especially if they draft or sign a tight end. The Patriots are expected to take a close look at the likes of Jace Amaro, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and C.J. Fiedorowicz in this year’s draft, and they could also sign former AFC East rival TE Dustin Keller (but he’s also coming off of an ACL tear and is older than Gronk). As we saw last season, Gronkowski is incredibly crucial to the Patriots success, so his health for the duration of the regular season is more important than his status for the early weeks of the regular season. That said, there’s no point in waiting for the sake of waiting either, so we’ll undoubtedly be hearing (and writing about) more Gronkowski news in the coming months as the rehab process continues.