Rob Gronkowski's father holds up return to field, per report

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

An unlikely source may be stopping Rob Gronkowski from returning from injury too soon.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has missed all of the preseason and the first three games of the regular season while recovering from multiple surgeries. However, New England believes the player wants to return to the field but that his father is holding him from coming back, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Gronkowski's back and forearm issues have hampered him from participating fully in practice and have completely sheltered him from playing in games. The fourth-year tight underwent several surgeries this summer and the recovery has been a storyline throughout the last few month for the Patriots. With a lack of experienced weapons on offense and the injury to wide receiver Danny Amendola, New England has sorely missed the tight end.

In his first three seasons, Gronkowski was among the NFL's best players. He has caught 187 passes for 2,663 yards and a whopping 38 touchdowns.

The Patriots will be on the road in Week 4 against the Falcons on Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

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