Rob Gronkowski still isn't participating in team drills with the New England Patriots, but he is doing individual work according to Field Yates of ESPN Boston. The tight end, who still recovering from surgical procedures on his back and forearm, was spotted doing agility drills and catching passes from a Pats assistant strength coach along the sideline at practice.
Gronkowski's status for the Pats' Week 1 game against the Buffalo Bills hasn't been clarified officially, but given that he is still on the team's physically unable to perform list, his outlook doesn't look good for the season opener. Last reports indicated that Gronkowski could return by Week 3 of the regular season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
While Gronkowski sits, the Patriots will continue to rely on some combination of Michael Hoomanawanui, Daniel Fells and Jake Ballard to get production out of the tight end spot. The return of wide receiver Danny Amendola from injury also helps, as well as the emergence of undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins.