Rob Gronkowski is unlikely to suit up when the New England Patriots visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, a source told Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio. ESPN's Adam Schefter corroborated Florio's report, saying that a person familiar with the Patriots' thinking said he is "not confident" that the tight end will play.
Gronkowski has missed the first four weeks of the 2013 NFL regular season while recovering from offseason back and forearm surgeries, and may be on track to miss a fifth game though he has yet to be ruled out officially. A final determination may not be made until game time, given the Pats' tendency to closely guard their injury situations. Gronkowski has been limited in practice this week, just as he was last week before being ruled out.
Gronkowski appeared to be on track to return by Week 4 at one point, though the Patriots have not commented much on the matter. Patriots fans have been anticipating the tight end's return due to the current receiving corps' struggles this season. With Danny Amendola also on the mend, the Pats have been relying heavily on rookie receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, both of who have struggled at times this season.