As the New England Patriots prepare for a matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, quarterback Tom Brady looks like he’ll again be without tight end Rob Gronkowski. Against a Bucs defense that has been surprisingly underrated so far this year, Brady is going to have to muster up some magic if he wants to go 3-0.
As for Gronkowski, he is apparently healthy enough to play. The Boston Globe reported that Gronkowski indeed could suit up, but the Patriots are continuing with caution.
“‘According to a league source, Gronkowski is healthy enough to play, but the Patriots want to get him more practice time before suiting him up in a game,’ the Globe‘s Michael Whitmer wrote. ‘For that reason, the source said, the Patriots are leaning toward keeping Gronkowski out of Sunday’s home game with the Buccaneers.’”
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is hoping to have Gronkowski back sooner rather than later, of course, because he will be an immediate force.
“I think any time you have a player that can make the kind of impact that Rob has made in the past, if you have a player like that back, it has to affect your plan, and hopefully only in a positive manner,” McDaniels said according to NFL.com.
“I don’t know if it would affect the groupings that we would use, or whether we would use a certain tempo or not, I don’t know if that would impact it. But you’d like to have a guy like that on the field as much as you can if he’s ready and able to contribute the way that Rob has always been able to.”
For the sake of Patriots fans, fantasy owners and, let’s be honest, Brady’s sanity, hopefully Gronkowski can return week four and turn that offense around that has only averaged 18 points per game so far this year.