The Patriots started last season without tight end Rob Gronkowski on the field.
It doesn’t look like they’ll find themselves in the same predicament this time around. Gronkowski said Monday that he’s been given the green light to play against the Dolphins in the opening weekend of the regular season.
“Super excited. Super pumped,” Gronkowski said, via Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. “I feel mentally and physically ready, for sure.”
Gronkowski added that he won’t be playing every snap, saying that he hopes to get his “feet wet” against Miami before taking on a bigger role in the coming weeks.
Gronkowski’s injury history is extensive enough that there will be concerns that he’s putting himself at risk by trying to come back too soon. Those risks are always going to exist for a player who plays the way Gronkowski does, though, and the benefits to the Patriots offense when he’s in the lineup are massive enough that the team is willing to make the gamble.