New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is officially listed as “questionable” on the team’s injury report. It appears that same designation can be used to describe the skepticism of Gronkowski’s teammates.
Gronkowski is currently recovering from back and forearm injuries and has not played this season. He was not cleared by Dr. James Andrews, an independent physician, or the surgeon who operated on his forearm, to play against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
However, some of Gronkowski’s teammates are allegedly questioning why he is not playing, and they are unsure if the tight end intends to play at all this season, according to ESPN reporter Ed Werder.
Here is a portion of Werder’s report:
"There's curiosity and resentment, and he's creating it by going out and kicking ass during the week and then he doesn't show up on game day and help the team win," one source said.
Gronkowski is expected to miss his sixth game Sunday because of multiple offseason surgeries on his fractured left forearm. He has not been cleared by third-party physician Dr. James Andrews, whose involvement suggests trust issues exist between the team and player over his medical condition and readiness to play.
Werder added that Gronkowski practiced fully for weeks – and looked dominant – but some of his teammates do not understand why the tight end continues to miss games.
They are having difficulty reconciling seeing Gronkowski perform like that and then not take the field with them for the games.
"If he's not playing in games, he damn sure should not be doing what he is in practice," said the same source who mentioned resentment.
Football players are usually the first to remind everyone the NFL means “Not For Long” in their eyes. Since players can get cut prior to a season and not receive the full amount of money left on their contract, they usually understand the importance of staying healthy. That is what makes the questions from players surrounding Gronkowski very odd.
Gronkowski has endured four surgeries to repair a left forearm that he broke twice during the 2012 regular and postseason. That injury has prevented him from playing this year, and Gronkowski is not wrong for relying on doctors, who have just a little more medical training than his teammates, to approve his participation.