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Rob Gronkowski expected to play against New Orleans Saints

Rob Gronkowski spikeRob Gronkowski is reportedly expected to return for the New England Patriots against the New Orleans Saints this weekend. Pro Football Talk cited a league source on Tuesday morning who claims Gronkowski will be cleared this week and will suit up on Sunday.

Gronkowski had multiple surgeries on his broken forearm and another surgery on his back during the offseason. The Patriots opted to not place him on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, which would have ruled Gronk out for at least the first six weeks of the season. If for some reason he does not play against the Saints, the Patriots will have wasted a roster spot on him for their first six games.

New England has managed to put together a 4-1 record without Gronkowski this season, though he was sorely missed in a 13-6 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Patriots were unable to move the chains at crucial times and failed to score a touchdown on 1st-and-goal from the Bengals’ 1-yard line in the fourth quarter. Gronkowski should certainly help remedy some of Tom Brady’s red zone issues.

At this point, we’ll believe Gronk is playing when we see it. There have been conflicting reports about his status all season long. If there was ever a time when they Patriots need him to return, it is this week. The Saints have been torching defenses this season and New England will likely have to score to keep up.

Rob Gronkowski: I don’t lose weight, I’m either looking skinny or jacked

Rob Gronkowski spikeNew England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski could be making his 2013 season debut on Sunday night when his team travels to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. On Wednesday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen estimated that there is about a 60% chance that Gronk will play.

Following Wednesday’s practice, Gronk adhered to the Patriot way by giving vague answers to questions about his status. He also adhered to the Gronk way when asked if his frame has filled out since he lost weight over the summer.

“I don’t lose weight. I can look skinny and still be the same amount of weight,” he said with a laugh, via ESPNBoston.com. “It goes by skinny or looking jacked.”

Bill Belichick was in rare form at his press conference on Tuesday when reporters asked him how close Gronkowski and Danny Amendola were to playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last weekend. The notoriously stubborn head coach simply said “they were inactive” over and over again as beat writers scrounged for any type of update. Gronk had a little fun at his coach’s expense during his time with the media.

So there you have it. Gronk might play this weekend. Or he might not. Hopefully his game has remained as sharp as his sense of humor.

Rob Gronkowski reportedly doing well, could return by Week 3

Rob Gronkowski spikeNew 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.

Rob Gronkowski expected to miss New England Patriots’ opener

Rob Gronkowski spikeRob Gronkowski is not expected to be ready to play in the New England Patriots’ season-opening game, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Boston Globe Patriots reporter Ben Volin agrees with the report.

Gronk had back surgery on June 18 to repair a herniated disk. The All-Pro tight end had the same surgery in 2009 while in college at Arizona, which led other teams to pass on him in the NFL Draft.

In addition to recovering from back surgery, Gronk has had four operations on his forearm in the past year. Gronk first broke his forearm while pass protecting on an extra point last season. He re-broke his forearm after returning to action weeks later. An additional surgery was required because of infection.

The Globe’s Volin wrote two weeks ago that the “most prudent” thing for the Patriots to do would be to place Gronk on the reserve/PUP list and have him miss the first six games of the season. We’ll see if they make such a move. We are recommending fantasy owners draft Patriots tight end Zach Sudfled in light of Gronk’s status.

The Patriots open up at Buffalo on Sept. 8 and host the New York Jets on Thursday Sept. 12. If Gronk is placed on the reserve/PUP list, he wouldn’t be able to play until Week 7 at the Jets on Oct. 20.

Rob Gronkowski almost walks out on interview over Aaron Hernandez questions (Video)

Rob-Gronkowski-interviewRob Gronkowski and his family sat down for an interview with “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday, and the segment was filled with laughter and stories about Rob’s brothers beating up on him when they were growing up. In addition, there were questions about Aaron Hernandez. Those seemed to irritate the New England Patriots tight end.

CBS’ Don Dahler would not have been doing his job if he didn’t ask about Hernandez, as it has been by far the biggest news story in the NFL over the past several weeks. But Gronk refused to bite.

“Next question,” he said when asked about his former teammate. “I learned that from Drew Rosenhaus. Next question.”

Gronk’s brothers laughed, and Dahler then turned his attention to Rob’s father Gordon to see if he had any thoughts on the murder investigation.

“I’m not going to comment on that,” Gord said.

At that point, Gronk stood up like he was getting ready to leave the interview. It’s hard to tell if he was joking or not, but he sat back down when Dahler wisely changed the subject.

This is how it’s going to be for a while for the Patriots and those who have any connection to the organization. Reporters aren’t going to stop asking, but the players aren’t going to start answering. We saw how uncomfortable Gronk was when asked about Hernandez and teammate Alfonzo Dennard last week. His interview with Dahler was probably just another sign of what’s to come.

H/T WBZ Boston News

Rob Gronkowski like broken record: ‘I got no reaction’ (Video)

Rob Gronkowski appeared with his brothers at a Boston bookstore on Thursday to promote their new book “Growing Up Gronk.” Part of the promotion meant there would be some media members in attendance, so naturally the inquisitive reporters wanted to ask Gronk about much more than his book. But Gronk knows per New England Patriots policy that he’s not supposed to speak about certain issues.

Rob GronkowskiWhen asked in successive questions about Alfonzo Dennard’s DUI, Aaron Hernandez’s alleged murder, and his injured back, the Patriots tight end did not give much.

“I got no reaction at all,” Gronk answered when asked about Dennard.

“I got no reaction at all. I’m just here about the book,” Gronk answered when asked about Hernandez.

“I’ve got no reaction about that either right now,” Gronk said about his back.

Gronk did say he was in great spirits and enjoying life a lot more, and he also said Roger Goodell was the man to ask about the league’s off-field problems. For someone whose mouth and reckless actions frequently get him into trouble, Gronk did a great job of showing restraint. You could tell how uncomfortable he was having to keep his answers brief.

Freddie Freeman now has Rob Gronkowski in his corner

Freddie-Freeman-BravesFreddie Freeman is putting together quite the campaign for the NL All-Star team’s Final Vote. The Atlanta Braves first baseman was leading the voting as of Wednesday morning, and his prospects got even stronger when an unexpected celebrity endorsed him on Wednesday afternoon.

No, we’re not talking about Lil Jon. The Atlanta-born rapper did tweet his support of Freeman on Tuesday afternoon, but Freeman’s latest endorsement may pack even more of a punch. That’s right, Ron Gronkowski has spoken.

We have no idea why Gronk is a Freeman fan, but his 450,000 Twitter followers should give the Braves star even more of a boost. Gronk was born in New York, so there is no Atlanta connection there. He played college ball at Ole Miss, which I guess is kind of close? In any event, I’m sure Freeman will take the popularity any way he can get it.