New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will finally have tight end Rob Gronkowski at his disposal.
Gronkowski has not played this season due to offseason back surgery and his injured forearm, but will make his regular season debut against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, according to ProFootballTalk.com. Since last November, Gronkowski has reportedly endured four surgeries to repair a left forearm that he broke twice during the 2012 regular and postseason, which has prevented him from playing this season.
Brady could use another solid weapon after New England’s 13-6 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals.
During the Patriot’s first loss of the season, Brady completed 18-of-38 passes for 197 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Brady struggled to establish a rhythm with his receivers, but Gronkowski’s return should help New England’s offense.
Gronkowski had 55 receptions for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. He has 187 receptions for 2,663 yards and 38 touchdowns since 2010.
More importantly, Gronkowski’s return gives Brady a familiar target. Brady has been forced to play without receiver Wes Welker, receiver Brandon Lloyd, tight end Aaron Hernandez and Gronkowski this season. While receivers Kenbrell Thompkins, Julian Edelman and Aaron Dobson have filled in admirably, Gronkowski provides the familiarity Brady needs.