The New England Patriots have been waiting for the return of All-Star tight end Rob Gronkowski to return from offseason surgery all season long in an attempt to bolster the production of an offense that has been far from as efficient as the typical Tom Brady attack. Heading into week 7 he has been cleared to play by doctors.
According to Gronk’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, doctors have given him the green light to step back on the gridiron when the Patriots take on the Jets Sunday. “Rob Gronkowski has now been cleared by all his doctors to play Sunday in the Jets game,” he explained in a text message to the media.
Although coach Bill Belichick has not announced whether or not he will be playing Gronk against the Jets, they are preparing for either scenario.
“(Our game plan) doesn’t change one bit. Like we said from day one, I assumed he’d play,” Jets coach Rex Ryan explained. “I don’t know if they were saving him for us, or whatever, but I had a funny feeling he was going to play. After that first game (against the Jets on Sept. 12), I felt for sure he’d play against us the second game.”
Gronkowski has been practicing for weeks now, however he has not made the next step forward in his recovery and appeared in game action. Fantasy owners and Patriots fans have been disappointed in this fact, however with the team off to a good start Bellichick and Gronk have not felt a need to rush anything.
Belichick noted that despite Rosenhaus’ text message nothing has changed on the Patriots official injury report. “I’m just improving every week, that’s all, really,” Gronkowski said earlier in the week. “I mean, like I said, nothing’s changed, man, and nothing has changed the whole time. And just the one thing that has changed actually is that I’m improving every week and it’s going good.”
Regardless of whether or not Gronk returns to the field against the Jets, the Patriots offense will not quite be at full strength yet. Wide receiver Danny Amendola will miss this game due to a concussion.
Nonetheless the addition of Gronk will play a huge role in boosting red zone successes of the Pats. Over the past two seasons Gronk has caught an incredible 28 touchdown passes.
Tom Brady has to be elated at the prospect of getting his top receiving option back in his arsenal.
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express