And the Rob Gronkowski wait continues.
Gronkowski returned to practice on Sept. 1, but the Patriots are still waiting for their star tight end to play in a game. ESPN reported that Gronkowski did not make the trip to Cincinnati and will miss his fifth straight game to start the season. The report said receiver Danny Amendola made the trip and is questionable.
Gronkowski seemed to be on a faster timetable before the season started when he began practicing, but there are still holdups. While the extended absence as Gronkowski recovers from back and forearm surgeries seems a bit unusual, he said earlier this week that he and the team are on the same page.
"We were on the same page from the very get-go," Gronkowski told ESPN.com. "And [we're] still on the same page and it's going good. I'm progressing every week, I'm feeling better every week, getting stronger every week and better conditioning every week. Just still sticking to the motto 'day by day.'"
The Patriots haven't missed Gronkowski yet, at least not on the scoreboard. New England is 4-0 to start this season. It won't be easy for the Patriots' offense without Gronkowski against a tough Bengals defense, but it's hard to doubt New England after what they did in September without their top option in the passing game.