Rob Gronkowski teased the New England Patriots‘ fan base this week when he was spotted in practice taking what seemed to be high-speed snaps. Unfortunately, the All-Pro tight end likely won’t be suiting up for New England until at least Week 3 of the NFL‘s regular season. “The Gronk” is undoubtedly a top-three tight end when he’s healthy, but it’s been hard for No. 87 to stay on the field as of late.
Reports say that when the Patriots left for New York on Saturday, Gronkowski was not part of the team’s travelling party, meaning that he likely won’t play in the game.
Injury always sparks opportunity and Zach Sudfeld is going to be Bill Belichick‘s starting tight end when the Pats take on the Buffalo Bills this Sunday. New England rarely gives its rookies such tall tasks, but Sudfeld is going to be looked upon to give the Pats a much-needed edge in the passing game. Obviously, Belichick isn’t expecting a Gronkowski-size impact from a rookie, but anything is possible with Tom Brady at quarterback.
To be brutally honest, the Pats should give the Bills a thorough whipping, so giving Gronk an extra week of rest probably is the smart thing to do. In fact, New England doesn’t play a team that was above .500 in 2012 until Week 4 when the Pats head south and face the Atlanta Falcons. Although Gronkowski’s hopes of returning for Week 1 are all but shot, it’s definitely likely that No. 87 will be on the gridiron when the Patriots square off against the highly-touted Falcons.