Source: Patriots considering ‘all options’ on Rob Gronkowski
|10.13.13 at 12:24 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The decision as to whether Rob Gronkowski will play again this season is in the player’s hands.
An industry source tells WEEI.com that Gronkowski is receiving the full support of the team, as evidenced by the comments of owner Robert Kraft to ESPN Radio on Sunday morning. The source says the team, based on medical reports, is considering “all options” including shutting down the tight end for the season if he’s still not comfortable with the state of his forearm.
Here is what Kraft told Mike Lupica on ESPN Sunday morning: “Look, he’s a young man that has had a number of different operations and I just want to make clear, because I know the media has a job to do, our first concern is his health and safety and doing what’s in his best interest long-term. And he’s the only one who can decide when he’s ready to play and we’re completely behind whatever his decision is. Obviously, all of us would like him to come as soon as possible, but we’re not going to let our short-term desire impede what’s right for the long-term.”
Gronkowski is signed through 2019 and in the second year of an eight-year contact paying him $55 million, which includes $13.17 million guaranteed and a $5 million guaranteed injury clause.
All of this comes on the heels of WEEI.com’s report this week that there remains “serious concern” about the integrity of the arm. A potentially telling quote from Gronkowski came on Thursday when he spoke to reporters and said that “nothing’s changed” in regard to his status and his physical overall readiness. Asked to clarify, Gronkowski would only add that he’s taking it “day-to-day.”
Pro Football Talk reported Sunday that Dr. James Andrews suggested he not play Sunday against New Orleans. But PFT added that Gronkowski is only expected to miss one more week “at most” and is still hopeful to be on the field next Sunday when the Patriots travel to New York to play the Jets.
The team is trying to counter an Ed Werder report of “resentment” in the locker room as to why the tight end is practicing but doesn’t feel comfortable taking the field in a game.
A source confirmed Sunday that Gronkowski would indeed miss his sixth straight game to start the season as his forearm heals from three offseason surgeries. Gronkowski came off PUP on Aug. 31, with the team’s expectation that Gronkowski would practice with the team and be ready to play before Week 6.
No one is totally sure of the next step, including Gronkowski himself.