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Monday, July 21, 2014

Patriots Injury Update: Rob Gronkowski plans on playing the entire 2014 season


By on 7/21/2014 10:15:00 AM

The fields are being lined and NFL teams are beginning to report to their teams' mandatory training camp.  It's the middle of July and the 2014 NFL season is right around the corner.  New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is feeling the itch like the rest of the injured players from 2013.  Days after another tight end got a historical raise and signed a huge contract, Gronkowski has told ESPN's Mike Reiss that he hopes to be ready for Week 1 of the upcoming season. Gronkowski underwent surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament on January 9th of this year.

The Patriots will be glad to have Gronkowski back, as their red-zone scoring percentage took a hit while the oft-injured tight end missed 14 games over the last two seasons.  Arm, back and knee surgeries have slowed the 25 year-old mighty tight end, costing him not only regular season games, but four more playoff match-ups since 2012. Gronkowski's timetable is again the biggest story in Patriots camp as the team reports for work this week.

Gronkowski told reporters on Friday that he plans to play all season:
I'm planning on playing the whole season this year.  I'm always antsy to get back on the field, no matter when it is. I'm just working with the trainers right now, improving every single day. Whatever we feel comfortable with (we'll be) doing as much as possible every day that I can do.  I just want to play football. I love playing the game
Gronkowski is hopeful he'll be ready for the Patriots season opener on September 7th, but is less certain about his availability for training camp, which begins on Thursday. He's likely headed for a stint on the team's physically unable to perform (PUP) list.


Gronkowski is starting to earn the title of "injury-prone" and "injury-riddled", which is the last thing any player in this league wants. Before tearing his ACL, he had numerous offseason surgeries for back pain and a forearm fracture, which forced the tight end to miss the first six games of 2013.  Gronkowski ended up playing in seven games last year and posted 39 receptions for 592 yards.

Jack Newton via Wikimedia Commons

With a career regular season 226 receptions, 3,255 yards and 42 touchdowns, the Patriots will undoubtedly ease Gronkowski back to the field.  The two years that he played in playoffs (2010-2011), Gronkowski posted 21 receptions for 323 yards and three touchdowns.

For the Patriots to be a contender next year, and for them to set their sights on the franchises' fourth Super Bowl ring, Gronkowski will need to shed the "injury" labels and produce on the field.  He has the tools to be a superior tight end in the NFL, with a future Hall of Fame quarterback throwing the ball.  Gronkowski has everything he needs right now and hopefully he will concentrate on healing and not rush back to the field. 

The Patriots went all the way to the AFC Championship game last year without him, and Gronkowski must realize that injuries can and will jeopardize his future in New England. 





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