Whether Rob Gronkowski will play Thursday night against the Jets probably won’t be known until Thursday night against the Jets, but there’s still plenty of speculation floating around.
After reports first arose that Gronkowski could be back as soon as the Week 2 matchup, and then that a return in the abbreviated week was probably wishful thinking, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald now reports that there’s a slim chance that Gronkowski will play, but it’s “unlikely.”
Guregian says Gronkowski “has not been completely ruled out,” but the Patriots are keeping him “in the wait-and-see category.”
While there were fears previously that Gronkowski would miss a good chunk of the season, he made progress in his return from offseason arm and back surgeries to the point of being placed on the roster coming out of camp. He’s been working his way back in practice to full playing form incrementally. While the Patriots sorely need Gronkowski’s experience and skill on offense, as further evidenced by their season opener against Buffalo, the team is also treading carefully after his previous returns from injury were complicated by setbacks.