Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski doesn’t appear to be too down over his most recent injuries.
During the team’s Week 3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on September 26, Gronkowski suffered a broken rib, cracked ribs and a punctured lung — as he mentioned to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer on Sunday, October 3. The veteran tight end obviously ended up missing the team’s Week 4 victory over the New England Patriots.
While the injury is much worse than initially believed — at one point, Gronkowski was a possibility to play in Week 4 — the Buccaneers starting tight end doesn’t sound too worried about his injury.
The veteran tight end said that he’s “week-to-week.”
Via Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports:
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “But I’m just going week by week — day by day — to get ready, whether it’s next week, the week after that, or the week after that. And let me tell you, I miss it. I miss being out there with the boys.”
Gronkowski doesn’t give a definitive timetable for his return. In fact, the Buccaneers have yet to indicate when the 32-year-old tight end will return to the lineup.
However, the fact that the Buccaneers have yet to place Gronkowski on injured reserve seems to indicate his injury is not a long-term one. When a team places a player on injured reserve, he is out for a minimum of three games.
Obviously, if the Buccaneers felt that was the case with their starting tight end, they would place him on injured reserve and use the roster spot on someone else.
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Gronkowski’s Return Still Uncertain
In the meantime, Cameron Brate will continue to start in Gronkowski’s absence. However, the 30-year-old had a rough go in his first start of the season versus the Patriots. Despite playing in 64 percent of the team’s offensive snaps (per Pro Football Reference), Brate caught just two passes for 29 yards. He had six total targets on the night.
The Buccaneers will obviously hope Gronkowski can return sooner rather than later.
Gronkowski Gives Brady Massive Props
Despite missing his homecoming in New England, Gronkowski couldn’t contain his excitement for Tampa Bay’s 19-17 victory over the Patriots. The veteran tight end watched the game from home and said his “jitters were up and down,” via Benjamin.
“I was jumping up and down, I was screaming,” Gronkowski told CBS Sports. “My jitters were up and down, and I was cheering for the Bucs left and right. I’m proud of my teammates, especially going back home there, where the atmosphere seemed unbelievable … The game was incredible. I think if you’re a football fan, that was awesome.”
The biggest storyline from the game was obviously Tom Brady matching up against Bill Belichick. The two teamed up for 20 years in New England, leading the team to six Super Bowl victories.
Although Brady wasn’t at his best during the game — he went 22-of-43 (51.2% completion rate) for 269 yards and a 70.8 quarterback rating, all season lows — he still led the Buccaneers to victory.
And although Brady may be 44 years of age and in his 22nd season, Gronkowsk believes his long-time teammate is still in his “prime.”
“I truly believe he’s in his prime,” Gronkowski said of Brady. “He has basically perfected the method on how to be ready for a game.”
Considering Gronkowski has played 11 seasons with the legendary quarterback, maybe he’s right.