New England Patriots' All-pro tight end, Rob Gronkowski, participated in the Patriots first day of training camp earlier today. Gronkowski practiced on a limited basis; however, his presence on day one of camp is promising for the defending AFC East champions.
Rob Gronkowski has missed seventeen games over the past two seasons (including playoffs) for a multitude of injuries. The 25-year-old has dealt with back, forearm, and knee (ACL, MCL) injuries over the last two season, forcing the Tom Brady and the Patriots to look elsewhere in his absence.
Gronkowski's last action of the 2013-2014 NFL season, came in early December before suffering an ACL tear after being hit cleanly by Brown's safety, T.J. Ward. Just eight months removed from the year-ending injury, Gronkowski was back on the field today catching passes from quarterback Tom Brady.
Gronkowski was able to take part in agility drills, red zone passing drills. However, he did not participate in 7-on-7's or 11-on-11's as the Patriots are taking a cautious approach with their often injured tight end.
As the focal point of the Patriots offense, Rob Gronkowski's health is a priority for the New England Patriots. If today's practice is indicative of the Patriot's approach to Gronkowski's recovery, it appears as if they will ease the Pro Bowler back into the offense during training camp. This isn't something foreign to NFL team's and their star players as the Patriots, league sources, and sports writers alike, know that this is a completely different team when Rob is on the field. According to Randy Moss of NFL Network, a healthy Rob Gronkowski, "may be the first step in getting back to the Super Bowl" (Inside Training Camp Live).
As the Patriots resume training camp tomorrow, all eyes will be on Rob Gronkowski to see how his surgically repaired knee held up after his first day of training camp.