New England Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski left little doubt Monday as to what his status would be for Sunday’s 2014 season opener opposite the Miami Dolphins. Gronkowski simply stated, “I’m good to go. I’ll be playing.” Gronkowski voluntarily shared the news, confessing that he did not want to be badgered about his status all week amid game preparations.
Gronkowski did not appear in any of the Patriots preseason games. He was limited in training camp during team contact drills. Many were left wondering whether he’d be ready for the opener after coach Bill Belichick traded for Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Tim Wright. With a new season set to kick off, Gronkowski wants everyone to know that he’s ready to rock and roll.
“I feel mentally and physically ready, for sure. No doubt about it. My mentality now is I’m ready to go, I’m ready to be out there, I’m ready to hit, I’m ready to start going,” said Gronkowski following Monday’s Labor Day practice session.
It’s been a slow, but steady return to 100% for the Patriots stand-out playmaker. Having not played at full speed in quite some time, Gronkowski expects to be eased back into things with a lighter work load. Wright figures to factor into the team’s game plan against Miami given how quickly Belichick entered him into action against the Giants in last week’s preseason finale.
Gronkowski had ACL surgery back on January 9. He recently returned to full participation in practice on August 18. He’ll wear a protective brace on his right knee this season.