Rob Gronkowski is a matchup nightmare, a notion that isn’t lost on the Houston Texans.

The Texans defense will have their work cut out for them Sunday when they take on the New England Patriots and their prolific tight end. It’s near impossible to completely subdue Gronkowski unless, of course, you bend the rules a little bit.

“I could put about 12 or 13 people on the field, but that won’t work because they won’t allow me to do that,” Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel told ESPN’s Sarah Barshop.

It wasn’t too long ago that Gronkowski gave Houston’s defense fits. The five-time Pro Bowl selection tallied eight catches for 89 yards with a touchdown in the Patriots’ Week 3 win over the Texans last season. Crennel’s crew will have to be much sharper if they hope to secure a Week 1 win at Gillette Stadium, but he knows it will be no easy task.

“It’s hard to cover him because he uses all of his skill sets to get open and to catch the ball,” Crennel said. “You can try to take him away and you can double him or triple him and try to do that, but they have other people on the team and you can’t double everybody.

“So, you have to pick and choose your moments and times and hope that you pick the right ones.”

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could end up looking Gronkowski’s way even more so than usual, as there are question marks surrounding New England’s wide receiver depth chart as the 2018 season gets underway.

Thumbnail photo via Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports