The New England Patriots have continued to surge in the right direction riding a five-game winning streak heading into Week 9 action against the Green Bay Packers.
However, Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski is dealing with ongoing issues with his back that has limited his availability on the field over the last couple of weeks. According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, Gronkowski was nowhere to be seen in practice on Wednesday.
* TE Rob Gronkowski (ankle/back), RG Shaq Mason (calf) and C/G Brian Schwenke (foot) not spotted.
* Full pads.
* Mid-60s and sunny — rare for Nov. 1.
* Setlist: “Pipe It Up” (Migos); “Everyday We Lit” (YFN Lucci, w/ PnB Rock); “Work” (Rihanna, w/ Drake). pic.twitter.com/Jmjsv3Vl4G
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) November 1, 2018
It may still be early in the week, but it isn’t an encouraging sign that Gronkowski is unable to practice at this point in time. This has brought more questions concerning his health and the condition of his back. He had been able to play against the Buffalo Bills where he had three catches for 43 receiving yards, but his effectiveness on the field wasn’t on par to what has become accustomed to seeing through his career.
Gronkowski had missed Week 7 action due to back spasms that flared up on the Friday before the game as these issues had remained on through the next day. At this point, there has been no chatter that he is in danger of missing this Sunday’s game, but it does put that possibility in play for the 29-year-old. Although he has been able to play in all but one contest this season, his production has been notably down as he has 29 catches for 448 receiving yards and one touchdown.
In fact, Gronkowski hasn’t performed at the same level since the season opener against the Houston Texans where he had seven catches for 123 receiving yards and a touchdown. This failing to crack over 100 receiving yards or even haul in another touchdown in any of the other games played. Ultimately, this is a situation that the Patriots will continue to monitor closely as the week goes on.