New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski went from definitely going to play in the team’s season opener to limited in practice, unofficially out and now he is officially out. The Patriots announced Friday evening that Gronkowski will not play in the team’s opener against the Arizona Cardinals due to injury.
Gronkowski, 27, was originally listed as questionable for the opener but this wasn’t considered a big deal given the fact that the NFL removed the “probable” designation from the injury report. That meant that any player who would go into the probable designation have to be considered questionable.
Unfortunately, in Gronkowski’s case it appears it was legitimate. Reports began circulating on Friday afternoon that Gronkowski did not travel with the Patriots to Arizona, and that appears confirmed by this news. The Patriots also ruled out offensive linemen Jonathan Cooper and Nate Solder on Friday evening.
One of the most prolific tight ends in the NFL, injuries have been a theme from Gronkowski in recent seasons. He missed a lot of time between 2012 and 2013, but he managed to play in 15 games in each of the past two seasons. He eclipsed 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns in both of those seasons.
Now he’ll fall short of a full 16-game season once again, something he has done every year since he played every game in 2011, his second year in the NFL. Gronkowski is basically the best safety net for a quarterback in the NFL, and with Tom Brady also out of Sunday’s game due to his suspension, the Patriots offense is hurting.