New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is expected to miss his sixth game of the season when his team takes on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Earlier this week, it was assumed that Gronk was going to play against the Saints because he has been practicing for several weeks. Apparently there have still been some issues with Gronk’s surgically-repaired forearm.
Over the past week, there have been a number of reports that indicate the Patriots are frustrated with Gronkowski because it is his choice to remain out. Sources reportedly told ESPN’s Ed Werder on Sunday that some of Gronk’s teammates have begun wondering if he will play at all this year.
“There’s curiosity and resentment, and he’s creating it by going out and kicking ass during the week and then he doesn’t show up on game day and help the team win,” a source told Werder. “If he’s not playing in games, he damn sure should not be doing what he is in practice.”
Gronk has reportedly not been cleared by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who may have been called in as a third party because there is a difference of opinions between the star tight end and the team.
Werder also said a source told him there is “nothing wrong with the arm” and that anything that is holding Gronkowski out against the Saints is going to hold him out for a while. The Patriots opted not to put Gronk on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to start the season, so he has essentially wasted a roster spot. He would have been eligible to come off in Week 7, and it’s no guarantee that he’s going to play then, either.
On Friday, CSNNE.com’s Tom E. Curran told Pro Football Talk Live that Gronkowski’s decision to practice but not play has created frustration among his teammates. One of those teammates, Curran says, is “the one responsible for throwing the football to Gronkowski.” Yes, that would be Tom Brady.
The Patriots desperately need Gronkowski back, as evidenced by their embarrassing red zone performance against the Cincinnati Bengals last week. The more we hear about his availability, the more it sounds like Gronk’s teammates feel he could be playing if he wanted to.