With a decision to be made in five days regarding whether Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will stay on the PUP list through at least the first six weeks of the season or join the active roster, the Pats seem to be trying to figure out what Gronk can do in the wake of back surgery. Which followed multiple procedures on his twice-broken arm.
Per multiple reports, Gronkowski is participating in individuals drills at practice on Monday.
He can’t return to team drills without leaving the PUP list. And if he leaves the PUP list he’ll count toward the 53-man roster as of Saturday.
The challenge for coach Bill Belichick will be to decide whether to keep a spot for Gronkowski if he won’t be ready to play until October. At a certain point, it makes sense to leave him on the PUP list for the first six weeks of the regular season, use the roster spot elsewhere, and allow him to get healthy.
Regardless of when Gronkowski gets healthy, the more important question is whether he can stay healthy. Since January 2012, the answer has been “no.”