If Rob Gronkowski heeds the advice of Dr. James Andrews, the tight end will not be suiting up for the Patriots on Sunday.
Andrews recommended Gronkowski not play against the Saints, according to Pro Football Talk. Gronkowski is still recovering from forearm and back surgeries that were performed during the offseason. According to reports, it’s the tight end’s forearm that is still not cleared.
If the Patriots had placed Gronkowski on the PUP list, he would have been forced to miss the first six weeks of the season. The All-Pro also would not have been able to practice while on the PUP list. Gronkowski has been a limited participant in practice since the season began.
It’s worth mentioning that very few players who have been cut by the Patriots were scooped up by other NFL teams. Zoltan Mesko was signed by the Steelers, Zach Sudfeld was claimed by the Jets and George Winn was eventually signed to the Raiders’ practice squad. So, while Gronkowski seems to have taken up a roster spot the Patriots could have used elsewhere, most of those players they released to keep room open for the tight end are still available.
The offense has struggled without their star pass-catcher, but the Patriots are still going into Sunday’s game 4-1.