Whether its partying with Johnny Manziel, dancing at Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce concerts, or spending the Fourth of July turning out the city of Chicago, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is certainly having some fun this offseason, but that doesn’t mean the Pro Bowl tight end hasn’t been doing the necessary work it takes to recover from a torn ACL and MCL. According to reports Sunday, Gronkowski should be ready to play in the Patriots’ Week 1 matchup at Miami.
Gronkowski being available is welcomed news for Tom Brady and company. The 25-year-old tight end suffered the injury in a game against the Cleveland Browns last December causing him to miss the rest of the season after just returning from a broken forearm and back surgery. Over the last two season, Brady’s biggest target has missed a total of 18 games and is likely to open training camp in a couple of weeks on the PUP list.
The Patriots are a bit weak depth wise at the tight end position. They are hoping rookie free agent tight ends like Justin Jones and Asa Watson are able to provide some depth, but all eyes remain on Gronkowski who was recently ranked No. 41 on the list of “Top 100 Players of 2014.” According to Patriots Football Weekly’s Paul Perillo, Gronkowski’s hard work and rehab is paying off.
Perillo reported, “At this point all signs point toward Gronk being ready to go in Week 1, but that’s really not the important part of the equation for the Patriots. Can he withstand the rigors of an NFL season and put his injury problems behind him? If he can then the lack of depth at the position won’t be much of a concern.”
Gronkowski being healthy for an entire season, including the playoffs, would make Tom Brady’s offense lethal even with the lack of experience at the wide receiver position. His presence alone would open up so much space for Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and a healthy Aaron Dobson. His blocking ability would also help the running game. The Patriots are still looking for that second tight end to compliment Gronkowski. The team could still bring in either Dustin Keller or Jermichael Finley to provide that option or even serve as insurance in case Gronkowski goes down again.