Bruce Arians: Two or three weeks before Rob Gronkowski is back to normal

NFL: OCT 31 Buccaneers at Saints
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When Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski returned to action after missing time with injured ribs, he only made it a handful of snaps before he was back on the shelf with a back injury.

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians would like to avoid a similar outcome when he gets back on the field this time around and that may mean a little more time without him in the lineup. Arians said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he doubts Gronkowski will be ready to face Washington this weekend and that he wants Gronkowski to be “ready to go the whole distance,” so they may be leaning on O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate, and the newly signed Darren Fells for a bit.

“We think in about two or three weeks he’ll be back to normal,” Arians said. “Darren Fells coming in this week, veteran player who’s played good for us in the past and love where we’re at that way. Gronk is gonna get better and we’ll just make sure he’s good when he comes back.”

Fells has never played for the Buccaneers, but he spent four seasons playing for Arians and many other Bucs coaches when they were in Arizona.