During the AFC Championship Game, Rob Gronkowski suffered a gruesome-looking ankle injury. He left the game briefly, but returned for the drive that culminated in Tom Brady's fourth quarter touchdown dive. It was soon revealed that Gronkowski had suffered a "classic" high ankle sprain, but would play in the Super Bowl.
Since then, the GRANKLE has taken us all on a roller coaster ride of a emotion, with the media diligently answering every question we've had, such as, "So is he going to play?," "He's still playing, right?," "Wait, how is this different from yesterday?," and "Why are we still talking about this?" Let's re-live every crazy twist and turn with THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF ROB GRONKWOSKI'S ANKLE INJURY:
Sunday, January 22nd: Ouch!
Sunday, January 22nd: Gronkowski misses only three minutes of game time after the injury. After the game, he tells reporters that his ankle is "good." (That's good!) But the Boston Globe reports that he was seen in a walking boot. (That's bad!) But it could be merely precautionary. (That's good?)
Monday, January 23rd: The Boston Herald reports that Gronkowski will play in Super Bowl XLVI.
Tuesday, January 24th: In a press conference, Bill Belichick sheds no light whatsoever on the situation. Gronkowski is still expected to play in Super Bowl XLVI.
Tuesday, January 24th: The Boston Herald reports that Gronkowski's ankle "may not be 100 percent," but Gronkowski is expected to play in Super Bowl XLVI.
Wednesday, January 25th: The Patriots don't practice, but they release a "projected" injury report as if they had. Gronkowski is listed as "did not participate" in the practice that did not happen. He is expected to play in Super Bowl XLVI.
Thursday, January 26th: Gronkowski does not practice. He is still expected to play in the Super Bowl.
Friday, January 27th: Gronkowski is the only Patriot to miss practice, and he confirms that his injury is a high ankle sprain. He is still expected to play in Super Bowl XLVI.
Sunday, January 29th: Pro Football Talk reports that Gronkowski probably won't practice all week but, in a shocking new development, will play in Super Bowl XLVI.
Sunday, January 29th: The Patriots arrive in Indianapolis, and photographers capture Gronkowski still wearing a walking boot. OH MY GOD! HE'S STILL IN A BOOT! LOOK AT IT! THE BOOT! IT'S ON HIS FOOT! HE IS WALKING IN THE WALKING BOOT! IT KIND OF LOOKS LIKE HE'S TRYING TO DISGUISE IT! BELICHICK TRICKERY?!?!?
(Gronkowski is expected to play in Super Bowl XLVI.)
Monday, January 30th: Gronkowski does not practice. He is expected to play in Super Bowl XLVI.
Tuesday, January 31st: It's off! I repeat, THE BOOT IS OFF! However, Gronkowski does NOT confirm that he will play in the Super Bowl. "Hopefully, that's the goal," the tight end tells reporters. "But that's in like six days, you never know. It could be 100% by then, or it could be 2% by then." DON'T TOY WITH OUR EMOTIONS GRONK! He is expected to play in Super Bowl XLVI.
Wednesday, Feburary 1st: Media Day. Gronkowski sits quietly by himself reading a dogeared copy of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. No journalist thinks to ask him about his ankle. LOLJK he's gonna play in the Super Bowl.
Thursday, February 2nd: Gronkowski practices! "He practiced on a limited basis and did some of the things that we did in practice," says coach Bill Belichick. There now seems to be an imperceptibly slight chance that Gronkowski will play in Super Bowl.
Thursday, Feburary 2nd: Agent Drew Rosenhaus says that Gronkowski's injury would keep him out of a regular season. According to Wikipedia, the Super Bowl is not a regular season game; thus, Gronkowski is expected to play in it.
Friday, February 3rd: Seriously? Are you still here? Not a f**king thing has changed for two weeks.
Matt Ufford is the nation's foremost Rob Gronkowski ankle historian. Look for his first book, GRANKLE! ROB GRONKOWSKI'S THRILLING JOURNEY FROM PROBABLE TO PROBABLE (SB Nation Books), in summer 2012.