FOXBORO, Mass. — Rob Gronkowski finally looked like the Gronk that New England Patriots fans know and love Sunday. And he felt like him, too, apparently.
“I felt like myself last week,” the All-Pro tight end said Thursday morning. “Just getting into the groove now, week-in, week-out now. Just have to stay in a routine. Stay in a groove.”
After notching only one reception for 11 yards over the Patriots’ first four games, Gronkowski was a menace in Week 5, catching five passes for 109 yards in a 33-13 rout of the Cleveland Browns.
Gronkowski did not appear hindered by the hamstring injury that sidelined him for Weeks 1 and 2 — 54 of his receiving yards against Cleveland came after the catch — but he would not say he felt 100 percent healthy.
“If you’re playing in the NFL, you’re never 100 percent,” Gronkowski said. “I mean any player, speaking for the whole NFL. I mean, playing this game, you’re going out every Sunday banging each other, hitting each other hard. I would say it is rare someone is going to come up and say that they are 100 percent for every game. I would say just going out there and being prepared to the max I can be physically every single week and being ready to roll.
“I’m out there now, and I’m rolling now, so there’s no excuses.”
In addition to the healed-up hammy, Gronkowski also was aided by the return of quarterback Tom Brady, who threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns in his first game back from suspension.
“I would say it’s a little bit of both,” Gronkowski said. “I mean, first off, (I’ve) always got to get healthy. When I’m healthy, I can go out there and do what I’ve got to do blocking, running-wise, catching-wise, running full speed at all times, going full speed every single time I’m out there.
“It was great to get Tom back and everything, but I feel like just my game, I feel like I can go out there and just do what I’ve got to do. (That’s) what I try to do, whoever the quarterback is. I’m just trying to do what’s best for the team and doing my job to the best of my ability to help out the team.”
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images