New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is aiming for a healthy return this season following a season-ending ACL and MCL tear towards the end of last season. The Patriots have been weak when it comes to depth at the tight end position and entering OTAs that depth is still a concern. One way to improve that depth is a healthy Gronkowski. On Sunday, the talented tight end addressed the team’s depth at the position.
As it stands, the Patriots have Michael Hoomanawanui, D.J. Williams and undrafted free agents Justin Jones and Asa Watson behind Gronkowski. None of those names exactly stand out as threats on offense. Gronkowski expressed his thoughts while speaking at his Citi Football Clinic at Melrose High School. He said, “We’re just working hard. Everyone that’s there is improving every week and doing the best they can.”
With the possibility of Gronkowski not being available for the season opener Sept. 7 against the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots are more in need of experience at the position and someone who can take fill in for Gronkowski if he is to suffer another injury. Rumors have been flying that the team has high interest in tight ends Dustin Keller and Jermichael Finley. Both are athletic and both would be able to provide sizable targets for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
When asked about the possibility of the team bringing in either Finley or Keller, Gronkowski said, “I don’t make any personnel decisions, it is what it is. I’m just focused on what I’ve got to do with my job. Tomorrow starts a new week and I’ve got to hit the rehab again tomorrow really hard to make myself better as a player.”
Part of that improvement for Gronkowski is of course getting healthy and staying healthy. That is where his focused is which is good for the team and fans who hope to see the dominant player he can be back on the field. It would also be good if he had some help at the tight end position. Now that June 1 has arrive, the date that teams can sign free agents without having them count against the compensatory draft pic formula, maybe Gronkowski will get to work alongside a Keller or Finley.