Rob Gronkowski injury: Patriots TE is day-to-day

Rick Stewart

Gronk is still day-to-day in his recovery from offseason surgery. The Patriots are hoping he can return Sunday against the Buccaneers.

Rob Gronkowski is day-to-day in his recovery, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said in a conference call Monday, according to Pro Football Talk. Gronkowski is still recovering from offseason back and forearm surgeries. Last we heard, the tight end was expected back by Week 4, and may suit up in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Pro Football Talk suggests that Gronkowski would be limited to a set number of snaps if he does take the field against the Buccaneers. A little bit of Gronkowski would be better than nothing for a Patriots offense starving for reliable pass catchers. With Danny Amendola on the mend for the time being, wide receiver Julian Edelman seems to be Tom Brady's only sure-handed target. Rookie wideouts Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins notably dropped several passes during last Thursday night's brutally ugly win over the New York Jets.

Fortunately for Gronkowski, the Thursday night game afforded him a long week leading up to Sunday's kickoff to potentially get re-acclimated to the offense. His participation in practice has gradually been increasing in recent weeks, which should be very encouraging for Patriots fans. The setbacks appear to be over.

Gronkowski was the Patriots' third-leading receiver in 2012 despite missing five games due to injury. He finished the regular season with 55 receptions for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns. In 2011, he set an NFL record for most receiving touchdowns by a tight end (17) on his way to 90 receptions for 1,327 yards.

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