Patriots gridiron news: Optimism high on Rob Gronkowski SB52 status

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Rob Gronkowski
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Rob Gronkowski /

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who suffered a concussion in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, hopes to be ready to go for Super Bowl LII.

One of the biggest questions surrounding Super Bowl LII over the next 10 days will be the status of New England Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Tom Brady’s big target suffered a concussion in the Patriots’ 24-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game.  Despite his loss, the team did rally back to win, but they will need him in the big game if they hope to hoist their sixth Lombardi Trophy in the city of Minneapolis.

While Gronkowski did land on the team’s injury report as a non-participant Wednesday due to the concussion, the overall consensus is that he should be available on Feb. 4.  As NFL Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday, the big tight end is in good spirits.

As with any injury concerning Rob Gronkowski, there is a lot unknown about the nature of the concussion.

All that is known is that Gronkowski is doing what’s necessary to get back on the field according to good friend, WWE superstar Mojo Rawley.

"“Gronk’s the man,” Rawley told TMZ on Tuesday, via WEEI.  “That’s a tough, tough guy … He’s one of the toughest guys I know and I’m sure he’ll be fine for the big one.”"

Rawley went on to credit Rob Gronkowski’s intelligence as a reason for his confidence. He said he buddy is “taking the right steps and following the right protocols.”

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If Rob Gronkowski can’t go 

The Patriots have played in playoff games without Rob Gronkowski.  They did it last season and according to head coach Bill Belichick, they can do it again.

Appearing on Dale & Holley with Keefe Monday, Belichick acknowledged the importance of Gronk in the offense, but turned to his next man up mantra.

"“There are always a couple plays – Rob is a special player that not everybody is going to make or you’re not going to design for everybody,” Belichick said regarding the game plan.  “By far the majority of the offense is able to transfer to the next player.  When a guy goes out of the game we can’t go to 50 new plays, or two guys go out of the game 100 new plays.  We just can’t do that.  Dwayne [Allen] did a good job.  I thought that Dwayne stepped in there and blocked well.”"

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Belichick did note that Allen isn’t the playmaker Gronkowski is, but as evidenced on Sunday, Brady will turn to a player like Danny Amendola or one of his pass catching running backs to help fill the void.