The Patriots were able to beat the Jaguars without Rob Gronkowski.
Whether he’s available for the Super Bowl depends on the word of an independent neurologist.
According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the Patriots are optimistic Gronkowski will be cleared. While that’s nice that they feel good, unless that source was a brain injury specialist, it might not be the most reliable in cases like this.
The Patriots tight end was removed from the field after a helmet-to-helmet hit from Jaguars safety Barry Church in the second quarter. The league’s concussion protocol was followed this time, and Gronkowski was taken directly to the locker room for testing.
The only other reported concussion for Gronkowski was in 2013, from the same game when he tore his ACL and MCL. But as we have learned over the years, brain injuries don’t follow the same timeframes of other problems, so there’s no way of knowing at the moment whether he’ll be well or not.
He’ll have to go through the steps of the protocol and be cleared by an independent neurologist before he can return. That might impact the league’s media day, but the Patriots are clearly hopeful he’ll be back on the field in two weeks.