FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots will not have a fully healthy Rob Gronkowski at their disposal Sunday as they visit the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 of the NFL season.
The All-Pro tight end admitted Thursday he is not 100 percent as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury suffered during the lead-up to New England’s second preseason game.
“Ever since that one time during practice versus the (Chicago) Bears, I’ve just been week to week with a little hammy thing,” said Gronkowski, who was limited in practice Wednesday. “Just been week to week, day by day, but I’m feeling good.”
Gronkowski did not play at all in the preseason — a common practice for him — and did not reveal whether he expects to suit up against the Cardinals.
“It boils down to a coach’s decision, the medical team and myself” he said. “We’ll all get together, collaborate and see where I’m at.”
Losing Gronkowski would be a significant blow to a Patriots team that is trotting out a new starting quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo.
Garoppolo is expected to start the first four games of the regular season while Tom Brady serves his Deflategate suspension, and Gronkowski, the NFL’s leader in receiving yards by a tight end last season, is arguably the Patriots’ most dangerous offensive player.
“I want to be out there so bad,” Gronkowski said. “Especially to help out the team — help out the team overall at any position, help out whatever guys are out there with the team supporting them. It’s super big, and I’m just doing the best I can.”
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images