When asked about the status of his injured left ankle, New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski said it feels “great”. If that’s the truth about his ankle then that’s excellent news for the Patriots and their fans but the evidence seems to contradict that.
While Gronkowski sounded positive Monday as he participated in a golf tournament for charity, it seems that the 2011 pro bowler may be misleading the fans and the media. If Gronkowski was feeling great about his ankle, it would seem that he would’ve been able to take part in the organized team activities and mandatory minicamp over the last four weeks. In addition, he declined to speak about whether he felt he would be ready for the start of training camp in late July.
Sending a positive message through the media would be the right public relations move whether his ankle looks good or not. Gronkowski signed a contract extension with the Patriots this offseason in which Gronkowski could eventually make $54 million. Paying that kind of money to a player who may not be completely healed in the near future would be devastating for the Patriots public relations.
Not participating over the past four weeks with his team may not be a big deal but not having a time table is. By not speaking on when he may be healthy enough to play shows that neither the Patriots nor Gronkowski have a time table of when he may be back. That means that the ankle is likely not coming along as well as they had hoped. Otherwise, Gronkowski would’ve been able to tell the media Monday when he expects to be back.
While the potential loss of Gronkowski into the regular season may not be as damaging as it would’ve been last season due to significant upgrades at the wide receiver position, it is still damaging. Gronkowski had a record breaking season last year for a receiving tight end that many in New England hoped he could build on in 2012. It still remains to be seen whether or not Gronkowski will be healthy come training camp and eventually the opening of the season in September but from comments made by Gronkowski Monday afternoon, it doesn’t look very promising.