Maybe Rob Gronkowski won't begin the season on the physically unable to perform list after all. Although he's yet to return to practice, the "buzz is positive" on Gronkowski's recovery from offseason back surgery, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, via Rotoworld.
During an appearance on ESPN's NFL Insiders on Tuesday, Schefter said he hadn't heard too many discouraging things regarding the recovery and suggested the tight end is likely to start the season on the active roster and not the PUP list. That would be a huge boost for New England as starting the year on PUP would mean Gronkowski is out for at least the first six games of the season.
Tuesday's report from Schefter is a stark contract to recent reports out of Boston. On Sunday, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe said it was likely Gronkowski remained on the PUP list through the first six games of the regular season. He characterized the possibility of Gronkowski coming off PUP during training camp as "highly doubtful."
The 24-year-old tight end has been an integral part of New England's offense. He caught 55 passes for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns in 11 games last season. With Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and others no longer in New England, a healthy Gronkowski could play an even bigger role this season.