The Cincinnati Bengals can breathe a little easier now that it has been made official that the New England Patriots will once again be without the services of star tight end Rob Gronkowski when they take the field on Sunday. One of the game’s best tight ends, Gronk has not rushed back from several offseason surgeries and once again will be at home when his team attempts to reach 5-0 on the year.
Through the first quarter of the season, Tom Brady has been left to shoulder almost the entire offensive load for the Patriots. A future Hall of Famer, Brady has made accomplished what almost no one else could. The Patriots are undefeated through four games despite a lack of bonafide stars to compliment him on offense.
Danny Amendola was supposed to come in and fill the void left by Wes Welker, but has been inactive for several weeks and is struggling to get back to full strength with a nagging groin injury.
Running back appeared to be a strength for the Pats heading into the season, but quickly has become a mess. Stevan Ridley was supposed to become as close to a feature back as coach Bill Belichick believes in, yet came down with a case of fumbleitis and quickly found himself in the coach’s doghouse. A revolving door of LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden, and Ridley has ensued with none proving to be an every down player.
In the absence of Gronk and Amendola, Brady has had to rely on undrafted Kenbrell Thompkins and second round pick Aaron Dobson to compliment Julian Edleman in the slot. Not exactly an elite bunch of guys.
Ian Rapoport reported that Gronk has not made the trip with the Patriots, and will not be playing against the Bengals.
Amendola remains a game-time decision and has traveled with the team to Cincinnati.
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express