Bill Belichick Says Rob Gronkowski Won’t Practice Thursday, Jokes About Injury Questions


January 26, 2012

FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said tight end Rob Gronkowski will not practice Thursday due to his injured left ankle.

It will be the team's first practice in anticipation of the Super Bowl. The Patriots didn't practice Wednesday, but they were required to release an injury report, which listed Gronkowski as the team's only non-participant. That was based off an estimation by the coaching staff in the event that they would have conducted a practice.

Belichick wouldn't offer any predictions over Gronkowski's availability for the Super Bowl.

"We'll just have to see," Belichick said. "We'll take it day by day. I'm not going to try to forecast where things will be 10 days from now. Just take it day by day."

Belichick was also asked about right tackle Sebastian Vollmer, who has missed seven consecutive games with foot and back injuries. Vollmer has practiced on a limited basis for the last two weeks.

"If he's ready, he's ready," Belichick said. "If he's not, he's not. If Sebastian is ready, he can help our football team. He's a good football player. There's no question he would absolutely be on the game-day roster if he's ready."

Belichick took the injury questions in stride, answering them with a wide grin, joking they would "actually be No. 1" in terms of his favorite topics of conversation.

"The crystal ball is kind of clouding up," Belichick said of his predictions for their Super Bowl availability.

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