Last week, it was reported that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was 50-50 to play against the Bucs. We reported thereafter that he was closer to doubtful. He ultimately didn’t play.
This week, Gronk has participated in practice on a limited basis both Wednesday and Thursday. His status for Sunday is still to be determined. Per a league source, however, the outlook currently is not optimistic.
Gronkowski is listed as having both arm and back injuries. It had been believed that the back surgery he underwent in June was the primary impediment, but some have reported that the twice-broken and then infected forearm is the bigger problem.
If Gronkowski doesn’t play by Week Six, the Pats would have been better off leaving him on the physically unable to perform list, and freeing up the roster spot for someone else. If on reserve/PUP to start the season, he could have returned after Week Six.
For now, look for Gronk to once again be questionable, and for his status to be kept under wraps until 90 minutes before game time on Sunday night at Atlanta, when the inactive players are named.
Then, if he doesn’t play, expect a certain someone to explain the next day that, yes, Gronkowski was inactive.