Two-time Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski is getting closer to making his return to the field for the New England Patriots, but it likely won't be in time for the team's Week 2 game against the New York Jets on Thursday, according to Karen Guregian at the Boston Herald.
Gronkowski, 24, is still working to rehab from offseason surgeries on both his back and forearm. While there has been hope that he'll return in Week 2 or Week 3, NFL.com's Albert Breer and Ian Rapoport have highlighted the team's Week 4 game against the Atlanta Falcons as the most likely return date.
In the Patriots' Week 1 victory over the Buffalo Bills, quarterback Tom Brady managed 288 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, but did so without much help from the tight end position. Michael Hoomanawanui caught just one pass for five yards and rookie Zach Sudfeld was cause for an interception after a ball deflected off his hands into the arms of Bills cornerback Justin Rogers.
Gronkowski compiled 187 receptions for 2,663 yards and 38 touchdowns in his first three NFL seasons, including 17 touchdowns in 2011, an NFL record for tight ends.