Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has practiced for more than a week, but coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday he wasn’t necessarily close to a return.
“He did more last week than he did the week before, and we’ll see where he’s at today and tomorrow when we go out there, see what he can do,” Belichick said, via Michael Whitmer of the Boston Globe. “We’ll take it day-to-day, based on where he’s at. He’s moving along, not ready yet.”
Gronkowski suffered a broken forearm on Nov. 19. The fact he’s practicing is a good sign for his potential availability for the postseason. But Belichick said he won’t play until he’s been cleared medically, and he hasn’t been yet.
“Those are really decisions that are made medically. If players are able to play, then we play them. If they’re not, then we don’t. It’s the same for every player, we treat them all the same,” Belichick said. “There’s nothing more important than a player’s health and safety, so when they’re cleared to play, then we make a playing decision, and if they’re not cleared to play, then there’s no decision to make.
“I don’t think that’s a decision that a coach makes or influences, that’s a medical decision if it’s a medical situation. Once it’s a competitive decision, then that’s a coach’s decision. [If it's a] medical decision, that’s made by medical people.”
The Patriots still have a chance at the AFC’s top seed with a win against the Dolphins and a loss by both the Texans or the Broncos. The Patriots can earn a bye with a win and a loss by either of the other two.