We knew they were inactive on Sunday morning, when the Patriots announced they were inactive.
If we didn’t know it, coach Bill Belichick reminded everyone of it on Monday. Multiple times.
Here we go, from the press conference transcript.
Q. How close was Rob Gronkowski to playing yesterday?
BB. I don’t know. He was inactive.
Q. Did he have a shot to play?
BB. He was inactive.
Q. Going into the day, was there a chance he’d play?
BB. He was inactive for the game.
Q. What about Danny Amendola?
BB. He was inactive too.
Q. I know they were inactive.
BB. They were inactive so they didn’t play.
Q. I think you have an idea how close they were.
BB. Well, they weren’t able to play. What do you want, percentage points? They couldn’t play.
Q. Going into the day, did you know they couldn’t play?
BB. They were inactive.
Q. That doesn’t answer my question.
BB. They were inactive, it’s as simple as that.
While Belichick’s approach may be frustrating to reporters, he’s fully within his rights to say nothing about Gronkowski, Amendola, or any other injured players. The Patriots face the Falcons in six days, and Belichick has no obligation to shed any light on whether either Gronkowski or Amendola will be able to play.
By addressing how close they were to playing on Sunday, Belichick would have been giving the Falcons information to which they aren’t entitled.
The fans and the media may feel they’re entitled to more. They’re not.