With the New England Patriots preparing for their regular season opener on September 8, there are several unanswered questions regarding this year’s team. Perhaps the biggest question mark of the season is status of TE Rob Gronkowski for Week 1.
Recently, ESPN analyst Adam Schefter said that “the buzz is positive” regarding Gronk’s recent back surgery. He then went on to say that he should be able to avoid being placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list or PUP list. Could he have been hinting at Gronkowski being ready for the regular season opener?
The release of veteran WR Michael Jenkins on Thursday may be even more telling about whether Gronk is ready to go or not. Why would the Patriots have released a veteran guy that has had modest production throughout his career unless you have something better sitting on your roster? It could be that the Patriots felt confident enough in their rookie pass catchers that it made Jenkins expendable.
I believe that the team may have some definitive good news on Gronk that they are keeping in the dark. In other words, the Jenkins release could be directly tied to the positive health of Gronkowksi.
With Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, Danny Amendola, and other question marks on the team in terms of pass catchers, the Patriots must know something the fans don’t to release a guy like Jenkins. Although he is slow, Jenkins has a reputation of having great hands.
Why would the Patriots release a guy like that in favor of unproven rookies who last played in college, having no NFL experience? The answer may be that the team has faith in Gronk to start the year.
Do you think that Gronkowski will play Week 1? Should he? Should the team not risk a setback and place him on the PUP list? Feel free to comment on the subject in the “comments” section below.