Bruce Arians Gets Brutally Honest With Rob Gronkowski

Getty Images Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tight End Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski’s comeback campaign isn’t going well if you’re looking at his 2020 season from a statistical standpoint.

Over the first two games in Tampa Bay, Gronkowski has just two receptions on four targets. Those two passes netted a measly 11 yards.

Gronk was considered one of the frontrunners for the Comeback Player of the Year award, as Pro Football Action relayed. Heading into the season, oddsmakers only have Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton ahead of the tight end, though with the way the two quarterbacks have played, it would take a lot for Gronk to get back in the race.

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Bruce Arians Gets Honest About Gronk

Head coach Bruce Arian isn’t one to sugarcoat anything. He called Gronk’s involvement in the passing game what it is.

“We haven’t had that many red-zone opportunities and I don’t see him running 40 yards past people any more,” Arians said. “We brought him in to play tight end. If that means no catches, that means no catches.”

This is the second time this week that Arians has addressed questions about Gronk’s role in the passing game. On Monday, Arians said that he wasn’t surprised with the lack of production from him.

“He got a nice pass interference call for us,” Arians said of Gronk’s game on Sunday. “Missed him on the over route. We’re not throwing the ball 50 times to the tight ends. That’s what we have receivers for, that’s the way our offense is built. Gronk’s playing great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I’m not concerned with his pass catches or his targets.”

Buccaneers Tight End Snap Count

Player Week 2 Total
Rob Gronkowski 42 96
O.J. Howard 34 71
Cameron Brate 4 11

*Anthony Auclair played 11 snaps in the opener against the Saints. He was placed on injured reserve after Week 1 and is eligible to return in Week 5.

On to Denver

The Buccaneers will travel to Denver to take on the Broncos on Sunday and they won’t be facing Drew Lock at QB. Lock injured his shoulder on Sunday vs. the Steelers. It was diagnosed a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and is expected to be out 2-to-6 weeks. However, the Broncos are hopeful that Lock can return before the team’s Week 8 bye.

“He just got a bad bruise there, and when it’s your throwing shoulder, it’s going to take time to heal,” Fangio said (via the team’s website). “It’s got to calm down [and] get his strength back to where he fully has it and he can operate at 100 percent.”

In addition to Lock, the Broncos have been hit with several injuries. Von Miller and A.J. Bouye are on injured reserve, Phillip Lindsay is expect to miss 2-to-3 more weeks with a toe ailment, and Courtland Sutton was placed on IR with an ACL tear this week.

Denver will have fans in attendance on Sunday, as the team has been permitted to have 7.5% capacity (5,700 fans).

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