Yesterday, Rob Gronkowski personally announced during a routine media session that he will be available to play this Sunday for the New England Patriots‘ regular season opener against the Miami Dolphins. Gronkowski, who was sidelined last season due to an ACL and MCL tear, is making his 2014 debut. He made no in-game appearances during the Patriots’ preseason games.
Once again, it is an exciting time to be a football fan, particularly in New England. Gronkowski is yet again returning from injury and hopes are high among fans and teammates alike. He is certainly a difference maker on the offense, so having him back Sunday, if only for a handful of snaps, is essentials to the team’s success. The concern now is whether or not he can remain healthy.
I think I can speak for all New England fans when I say that watching Gronkowski play after returning from an injury is like watching a car crash in slow motion. You know that nine out of 10 times, every party involved will be fine, but eventually that one hit will be too much and someone is going to get hurt. In this situation, Gronkowski is the one likely to get hurt, even if he’s not at fault.
Each play he is involved in causes my face to scrunch up, one eye open, just hoping he gets back on his feet. Gronkowski’s legacy early in his career has already become outstanding layer, always hurt. Come Sunday, the excitement surrounding Gronkowski’s return will be felt throughout Gillette Stadium when he takes the field for the first time. There will also be a collective sigh of relief, or shriek of horror, when Gronkowski is tackled for the first time. Hopefully, he will stand back up this time.