Rob Gronkowski reportedly doing well, could return by Week 3
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is still recovering from back and forearm surgeries that were performed in May and June, but it sounds like he is healing quickly. Gronkowski, who looked impressive in workouts earlier in the offseason before going under the knife again, could reportedly be back in time for Week 3 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“According to a source, Gronk is doing very well in his rehabilitation from back and forearm surgeries performed in May and June,” the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian wrote on Monday. “He’s ‘right on schedule’ for a mid-September return. In fact, he’s healed and advanced to the point where he would be close to playing Week 1 in Buffalo, the source said.”
Gronk could be healed enough to play in the season opener, but the more likely scenario is that he will take a few more weeks to get into “football shape” before making his 2013 debut. Either way, this is good news for the Patriots.
There has been a lot of speculation that Gronk would begin the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, which would mean he could not suit up until Week 7. If his rehab is going as well as Guregian says it has been, the Patriots would be using extreme caution in keeping their star tight end out that long.
It has been a frustrating nine months for Gronkowski, who broke his forearm in Week 11 last season and then rebroke the same arm in New England’s playoff win over the Houston Texans. The back surgery then added to a laundry list of injuries for a player who slipped in the draft because of back issues in college.
The Patriots’ offense has looked plenty sharp in the team’s first two preseason games, but having Gronkowski back sooner rather than later would be a major boost. Not only is he one of the most difficult tight ends in the game to cover, he is also one of the best run blockers at his position. Assuming the report is true, the Patriots must be encouraged.