Update on Rob Gronkowski’s Knee Injury
New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski caught a lot of heat leading into the 2013 NFL season. After missing time due to a broken arm the season before, Gronkowski was pressured into rushing back from off-season surgeries on both his arm and back. Despite not being placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, however, Gronkowski took his time in his rehab from both injuries and didn’t play for New England until week seven.
He may do it again…
Per reports, Gronkowski is doing well in his recovery from a torn ACL and MCL that he sustained in week 14 of last season, but intends on “[taking] his time, and then some”. Patriots fans and possibly fantasy football enthusiasts may not welcome news of further rehabbing from Gronkowski with open arms, but New England’s best weapon in the passing game may want to take the extra time to ensure he’s 100% for 2014.
It’s a logical approach, as Gronkowski has not had knee troubles in the NFL and rehabbing from two torn ligaments is sure to be a rigorous process. More importantly, Gronkowski isn’t going to want to come back too fast and risk re-injury, especially given the fact that he’s missed a whopping 14 regular season games over the last two seasons.
Gronkowski’s injuries since entering the league have been well documented. His draft stock dipped back in 2010 largely because of back issues than hindered him at Arizona, while he has now undergone eight known surgeries in his four-year NFL career.
Add in the loss of fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez last off-season due to a murder investigation, and the Patriots and their fans understandably might be a little worried. Gronkowski’s importance to the offense was magnified more than ever in 2013, as the Patriots struggled mightily in the passing game through the first seven games and even went through an epic miss with undrafted failure, Zach Sudfeld.
Heading into 2014, the Patriots would probably be best served to make sure waiting for Gronkowski doesn’t cripple their offense again. That should mean two things for New England. First, they should let Gronkowski heal at his own pace. Second, they need to prepare for the possibility that Gronkowski could easily get hurt again, or that he might not be the same player they’ve grown accustomed to.
If that’s something the Patriots believe could happen, they’ll likely want to at least consider adding some help at tight end. They could try signing someone like Jermichael Finley off the streets, but snagging a high upside prospect in the draft seems like the more ideal approach. If New England goes this route, Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro seems like the logical fit. He can play the old “move” spot Aaron Hernandez played, and is a highly skilled receiver. Even if Gronkowski returned in 2014 at full health, the Pats would suddenly have an elite tight end duo again. And if he couldn’t, Amaro would be there, ready and willing.
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