FOXBORO, Mass. — Rob Gronkowski’s last two seasons ended prematurely because of injuries, but that won’t change his physical style of play.
Gronkowski — the most complete tight end in the NFL — will keep pressing for extra yardage when he gets back on the field despite wearing forearm and knee braces that have him looking like the Michelin Man.
“No, I ain’t changing that one bit,” Gronkowski said Friday at Gillette Stadium after New England Patriots training camp. “I’m going to go full speed when I’m out there, and I’m going to keep smashing and dashing in everything I do. Maybe if it’s not necessary one single bit I’ll go down, but if I can make some plays, make some extra yards, get in the end zone, I’m definitely going to go full speed and take the hits.”
The Patriots will be in full pads Saturday, but Gronkowski won’t participate in full-contact drills. Gronkowski even has sat out team drills while the Patriots have gone through unpadded practices to protect his surgically repaired right ACL. Gronkowski said there’s no timetable in place for when he’ll start going through 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, but that he’ll follow the instructions of team trainers and doctors.
“We’re all on the same page right now, the team, organization, myself, the trainers, the doctors,” Gronkowski said. “We’re all on the same page.”
That’s a good sign, since there were reports last season that Gronkowski and the team had different ideas of when the tight end could retake the field.