FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick held his first news conference since the New England Patriots released a statement on tight end Rob Gronkowski’s injury and subsequent surgery Friday morning.
The coach didn’t offer many more details about the Patriots’ star tight end to the media, but he did say the team expects more information over the next few days. Gronkowski’s surgery is scheduled for Friday, and as of now, it’s expected to end the tight end’s season. The Patriots had not placed Gronkowski on injured reserve as of Thursday afternoon.
Here’s everything Belichick had to say about Gronkowski:
“Everyone has the information about Rob,” Belichick said. “Obviously we’re all disappointed. No one has worked harder than Rob and been a better teammate and all of that. Hopefully things will work out positively as possible with him. All the information we gave you, certainly that’s all we have for now. I’m sure there will be more coming in as we go through the next few days. We’ll take it as it comes. It’s an unfortunate situation for him.”
On Martellus Bennett’s ability to replace Gronkowski: “I’ve happy to have all the players we have.”
On how big a blow it is to lose Gronkowski: “Again, we appreciate all of our players. … You want to rank them. They’re all important. Rob’s a great player. They’re all important.”
On filling out tight end depth by adding more players: “We’ll always do what we feel is best for the football team.”
On James Develin’s ability to replace Gronkowski: “We’ll do the best we can every week. That’s what we do.”
On the decision to make a joint statement with the Gronkowski family: “I would say that this is a situation where the team and the player felt like it was the best thing to do.”
On whether Gronkowski’s back injury occurred against the Seahawks: “The statement, I have nothing to add to that.”
On his message to the fans: “Yeah, I just said it.”
On when the team will determine to put Gronkowski on IR: “I don’t know.”
On if the Patriots expect Gronkowski back for the playoffs: “Read (the statement). Just read the whole thing. Obviously there’s more information coming. Right now, we have what we have. When more information comes, then maybe another decision will be made. I don’t know.”
On the original report coming out of Buffalo: “I have nothing to add. The statement, that’s all we have right now.”
On speaking to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels: “We do it every day. We do it every week.”
On the decision to make Jacoby Brissett the player designated to return from IR: “That’s what we felt was best of the team.”
On if Brissett can benefit from practice reps: “Of course, yeah. Sure he could. I don’t think that’s what that’s for, but of course he could. Every player out there that practices benefits from it. Otherwise, what’s the point in practicing? Practice helps him get better. Helps everybody. No doubt.”
On if the Patriots were aware of the extent of Gronkowski’s injury when they designated Brissett to return: “We’ve talked about everything we can talk about up here.”
And that was the extent of the media’s questions about Gronkowski. Belichick went much longer on topics not related to the tight end, such as the Patriots’ upcoming matchup with the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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