New England Patriots: All eyes on the health of Rob Gronkowski


After missing the end of the 2016 season due to back surgery, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is back and ready to grind.

It wouldn’t be training camp if there weren’t questions surrounding the health of New England Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Sounds harsh, I know, but the big, play-making tight end has been battling some sort of injury at the start of seemingly every season.  While the Patriots did go on to win the Super Bowl without the services of Gronkowski, his importance in the offense is still great.

In fact, a health Rob Gronkowski mixed in with the amount of the weapons the Patriots have could make them just about unstoppable.

So how is Gronkowski’s back handing the grind of training camp?

BUFFALO, NY – OCTOBER 30: Rob Gronkowski
BUFFALO, NY – OCTOBER 30: Rob Gronkowski /

Speaking to the media Tuesday, the Patriots all-time touchdown receptions leader said things feel good.

"“It feels good out there,” Gronk said in the press conference.  “Today was a grind.  [It’s] super humid out.  It’s getting through the dog days because we just have to keep on pushing through camp.  I think it’s our fourth full pad [practice].  Yeah, it’s our fourth.  We’ve got a good week coming up, a good practice today.  We just have to improve, keep doing our routine and keep doing better.”"

When asked how his back has responded, Gronkowski said he is “good to go” and willing to do whatever the team needs him to do.

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Backup plan

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With the departure of Martellus Bennett, the New England Patriots added former Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen.  While not as dynamic as Bennett, the Allen and Gronkowski tandem could be just as affective.

When asked about his new teammate, Gronkowski praised Allen as a great guy who brings a tremendous work ethic to the team.

"“For sure,” Gronk said when asked what he’s seen from Allen.  “We’ve been going since the summer but [he’s] a great dude, hard worker and he’s doing super well.  I love working with him.  I love blocking with him [and] going out there and running routes together.  [He’s a] great guy to work with.”"

It will be interesting to see how the team uses Allen and how Gronkowski is featured in the offense.

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With Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell and a trio of pass-catching running backs, Gronkowski has the potential for an explosive year.

That is, if the back holds up.