Scott Chandler: Not Trying To Be Rob Gronkowski, ‘Because I Would Fail’

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December 3, 2015

FOXBORO, Mass. — Scott Chandler might be the most self-aware player in the New England Patriots locker room. He knows he can’t replace the NFL’s best tight end, but the Patriots backup will have to step up in Rob Gronkowski’s absence.

Chandler was expected to have a big role in the Patriots’ offense this season, but he’s accounted for just 19 receptions for 198 yards with three touchdowns in 11 games. He dropped his first target Sunday night in the Patriots’ 30-24 loss to the Denver Broncos but then rebounded for his best game of the season, catching five passes for 58 yards and a score, including two catches for 32 yards after Gronkowski went down with a right knee injury.

Chandler was asked if he’ll be able to step into Gronkowski’s role with the starter “week-to-week” with a knee sprain and bone bruise.

“I don’t know that it’s always that easy,” Chandler said. “There’s not a lot of Robs walking around. I’m just doing what I can here. I’m focused on that. I’m not trying to be Rob, because I would fail.”

Chandler, who had 47 catches for 497 yards with three touchdowns last season with the Bills, isn’t focused too heavily on his individual numbers.

“I think that my whole goal coming here was to be part of a winning team,” Chandler said. “I think that so far, we’ve been pretty successful. I’d like to see us continue to be successful, and that’s always been my goal. …

“I think being where I’m at in my career and being where I was, 10-1 is the only stat that matters to me, so I’m pretty excited about that.”

Chandler and Asante Cleveland are the only healthy tight ends on the Patriots’ roster. Michael Williams, who has served in a blocking role for most of the season, was inactive in Week 12 with a knee sprain. The Patriots also have tight end Joseph Fauria on their practice squad.

Thumbnail photo via Thomas J. Russo/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Oct 18, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) and tight end Scott Chandler (88) celebrate a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in the second half during the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports
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