Over the past two years, two-time All-Pro Rob Gronkowski has struggled to stay healthy. Although Gronkowski has only played a total of 18 regular season games over the last two seasons, the star tight end for the New England Patriots believes he's ready to go for Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins as he told Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald on September 1:
Rob Gronkowski on Week 1: "I'm ready to go. I'll be playing."
The 25-year-old may claim to be ready for Week 1 against the Dolphins, but he does admit that he might not be playing every down, via Mike Reiss of ESPN:
Gronk: “Definitely not [playing] every single snap. But just get out there, get my feet wet, whatever we game-plan this week, will be good.”
If Gronkowski is back to form to start the upcoming season, Bill Belichick's Patriots could once again become an elite team offensively. Tom Brady and company were still able to hold their own without Wes Welker and Gronkowski last season, but getting arguably the team's best receiver back healthy will vastly improve New England's chances of competing in the AFC.
Gronkowski is coming off reconstructive surgery on his right knee after tearing his ACL and MCL in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals back in December of last year. Losing the tight end turned out to be a major blow for New England's offense despite putting up 43 points in a rout against Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs.
The Patriots ultimately lost to the eventual AFC champion Denver Broncos in which Gronkowski's absence was felt. Brady and company only scored 16 points in the loss to Denver ending their season prematurely once again.