Report: Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola ‘not expected to play’ Sunday night vs. Falcons
|09.27.13 at 2:11 pm ET|
FOXBORO — His equipment travel bag was packed Friday afternoon in front of his locker but according to a report from ESPN’s John Clayton, Rob Gronkowski is not expected to play Sunday night against the Falcons. Clayton also reports that it’s highly unlikely that Danny Amendola returns Sunday night.
Gronkowski was upgraded to “questionable” from “doubtful” last week before the game with the Buccaneers but has been listed by the Patriots as limited all week as he tries to get stronger and show the coaching staff he is fully healed from offseason forearm and back surgeries.
Gronkowski has not officially missed any practices since being taken off the PUP list on Aug. 31 but has yet to see action in a game, as he has been inactive for the first three weeks. Without the star tight end, the Patriots are dead last in the NFL in red zone efficiency, coming in at just over 30 percent.
Head coach Bill Belichick said on Wednesday that Gronkowski has shown signs of getting stronger with each passing week and practice but would not commit to any probability that Gronkowski would be ready to play Sunday night.
A questionable designation indicates a 50-50 chance a player could play while a doubtful categorization indicates the team believes there is only a 25 percent chance of activation for the game.
If a player does not travel with the team on the road, the team is required to downgrade the player to out, as was the case with Gronkowski on Sept. 7, the day before the season opener in Buffalo. The Patriots are scheduled to leave Saturday afternoon for Atlanta.
Amendola (groin) has also been limited this week in practice and his travel bag was packed in front of his locker. Amendola’s availability is also in question for Sunday night, though there are reports that he is recovering much faster than expected from the injury sustained in the first week in Buffalo.