The Patriots no longer expect tight end Rob Gronkowski to play Sunday against New Orleans, according to ESPN. Despite another full slate of practices, New England's biggest target will wait at least one more week to make his season debut.
Gronkowski initially broke his arm in Week 11 of last season, prompting a surgery that allowed him to play for New England in the playoffs. Since re-breaking the arm in playoff action, the pass catcher has undergone three additional surgeries and suffered an array of setbacks. Gronk's back has been an issue, giving Dr. James Andrews and the Patriots medical staff further concern in giving him the green light.
Despite a 4-1 record, the Patriots' offense has suffered without Gronk, scoring just 19 points per game and sitting 18th in total yards from scrimmage. New England got zero production from fill-in tight end Zach Sudfeld and released him two weeks ago. In Gronk's 43 regular season games, he has caught 38 touchdowns.