FOXBORO, Mass. — Rob Gronkowski played just 46 of the New England Patriots’ 77 offensive snaps in Week 3, but the All-Pro tight end claims he’s not feeling limited.
Gronkowski certainly doesn’t look like himself quite yet, but he showed signs of improvement in the Patriots’ 16-9 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, when he caught three passes for 44 yards and one touchdown.
Gronkowski tore an ACL during the Patriots’ Week 14 win over the Cleveland Browns last season and had surgery to repair his right knee in January.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Gronkowski said in the Patriots’ locker room Wednesday. “I don’t feel limited at all. Just working my way back into it. Working my body back into it, and I think it’s going very well. It’s been healing very well, and every week we’re progressing.”
Gronkowski played 38 snaps in Week 1 and 28 snaps in Week 2, so he saw an increase in playing time in the Patriots’ home opener against the Raiders. He received 11 targets from quarterback Tom Brady in Week 1 and six in both Weeks 2 and 3.
“I’ve been a few games deep now, three games now, so it’s basically just progressing every week, but it’s getting to the point now where we can start rolling more and more,” Gronkowski said.
That’s an encouraging statement for a player who’s so important to the Patriots’ offense, which has struggled in the first three weeks of the season. Gronkowski can contribute as a receiver, pass protector and run blocker.